4.30 – BOOKSMART (2019) & Heartbreak

The final film in our ‘high school’ sub-season is the Olivia Wilde film from last year BOOKSMART. After some reviews, we talk about the effectiveness of films that might not be ‘for us’ as an audience, and the division of high school films into movies about nostalgia, coming of age, or romance — and this discussion leads into a retrospective on the sub-season as a whole, for which this movie serves as an excellent conclusion, in a number of senses.

Next Time
We begin our sub-season of ‘heist’ movies with one that, arguably, kick-started the genre as a whole: RIFIFI (1955).

Recent Media
QUEER EYE: WE’RE IN JAPAN! (2019): David Collins, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown
UNCUT GEMS (2019): Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Adam Sandler

Recommendations
SANTA CLARITA DIET (2017–19): Victor Fresco, Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant
THE SPECTACULAR NOW (2013): James Ponsoldt, Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley
‘No Love Like Yours’ (2016): Olivia Wilde, Nico Aglietti, Stewart Cole
UNBELIEVABLE (2019): Lisa Cholodenko, Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Colette
LADY BIRD (2017): Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf

Footnotes
Details of Olivia Wilde’s ‘no assholes’ policy on-set are here: https://www.gamesradar.com/olivia-wilde-had-a-strict-no-asshole-policy-on-set-while-filming-her-directorial-breakthrough-booksmart. Here you have more on the conventional idea of the ‘romantic story arc’ against which the film works: https://diymfa.com/writing/structure-romance-writing. This is an interesting piece on the use of stereotypes in film story-telling, though it veers more into the arena of cultural/ethnic stereotyping: https://www.lbbonline.com/news/stereotyping-in-storytelling. Finally, who doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned list? To finish off our time with ‘high school’ movies, here are a few we caught — and some we definitely missed (though some of the decisions are questionable…SUPERBAD higher than THE BREAKFAST CLUB??): https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/guide/50-best-high-school-movies.