Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, is for a specific set of high school seniors. You know, the ones who wake up on their graduation day knowing they've secured their spot in college, yet they don’t feel like they've actually done anything in their grade-school years aside from study, ace the test, write the paper, rinse, repeat. (High school seniors, never fear, this feeling doesn’t go away ever.)
Booksmart attempts to capture exactly that feeling and unravel what, exactly, two overachieving high schoolers are to do with their last days at home. After premiering to rapturous praise at SXSW over the weekend, the movie’s first trailer dropped earlier today, offering a preview of the film that early reviews have already called a hybrid of Superbad and Lady Bird, with a little Blockers for good measure.
In Booksmart, Beanie Feldstein (incidentally, of Lady Bird fame) and Kaitlyn Dever (recently of Detroit) play Molly and Amy, respectively, best friends and fellow A-plus-plus students on the cusp of graduation and everything beyond. Molly is bound for Ivy League glory while Amy is heading off to Botswana for a gap year. But as they walk into their school during the final days of the term, they rudely learn that their peers, who they’d perceived to be slackers and burnouts, have managed to secure top-notch school and job offers while maintaining a healthy party schedule. Or, as one girl puts it in the trailer, “I’m incredible at hand jobs, but I also got a 1560 on the SATs.”
So the girls embark on an all-night journey to get into the cool kids’ party, to get Amy to talk to the girl of her dreams—a cute skateboarder on whom she’s had a crush from afar for pretty much indefinitely—and to, generally, Do Things and Get Experience before they close the book on high school. There’s a stop-motion sequence, a glittery house party hosted by some theater kids, inspirational Michelle Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and some spontaneous sidewalk dance parties. Just your average high school experience.
Judging from the advance praise, Olivia Wilde, best known for acting in House, Vinyl, and Drinking Buddies, nailed it with her feature directorial debut. (She’s also directed videos for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.) See the full trailer, below.