Booksmart 2019 ****

William Goldman’s aphorism that ‘nobody knows anything’ is particularly true of the streaming side of Hollywood; it boggles the brain that Booksmart would be given a big push in terms of theatres and advertising in the US, and released on Netflix the same day in Europe, ensuring perfect HD copies were online. It’s a real shame given that Olivia Wilde’s film is probably the best comedy of 2019 so far, with Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein as two teenagers who realise that high-school is about to become history, and all their hard work has stopped them from living outside of their textbook. This prompts a Superbad-style tilt at living a Bacchanalian lifestyle for one night only, with drugs, sex and numerous frustrations afflicting the twosome on their way to their graduation ceremony. Booksmart is a female-driven comedy that delivers enough laughs to be worth recommending, with two great leads, plus some fun work from Billie Catherine Lourd, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow and Jessica Williams as a Gilmore Girls obsessive. Booksmart has all the makings of a sleeper hit, but that success won’t come at the box-office when the release has been deliberately hobbled in such disappointing fashion.


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