Watch at Home: ‘Booksmart’ & More from Female Filmmakers

Kaitlyn Dever stars as Amy and Beanie Feldstein as Molly in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, an Annapurna Pictures release.

FF2 Media’s new “Watch at Home” columns list the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers that are newly available each week on DVD, Video On Demand &/or streaming services.

Here are the new films written and/or directed by women filmmakers now available at home as of 9/6/2019 (with links to FF2 Media reviews posted the week of their theatrical release):

  • Booksmart – Olivia Wilde (director), Emily Halpen & Sarah Haskins and Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman (co-writers)
  • Boy Genius – Bridget Stokes (director), Vicky Wright (writer)
  • Mary Magdalene – Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett (co-writers)
  • Satanic Panic – Chelsea Stardust (director)


This week’s selection is Booksmart.  With a strong focus on female friendship, Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, is the next great classic high school comedy.

It’s very easy to see the influence of a filmmaker like Amy Heckerling in watching this film.  She’s the filmmaker who directed both Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.  These two films inspired a generation and Booksmart is sure to follow.

Both Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) may be best friends but they’re also the people in high school who never bothered going to parties.  They’re the ones who are focusing on graduating and moving onto the next thing in life.  For Amy, this means taking a year off to spend time in Botswana.  As for Molly, it means attending college at Yale as she continues her path to the Supreme Court.  It’s not surprising that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s photo is in Molly’s room.  When it comes time for graduation, they decide to make up for a few years of missing out on all the fun.  Easier said than done, of course.

This is a film about female friendship at its core.  Amy and Molly have a strong relationship. They’re the type in which you just know that they’ll be best friends for life.  It’s also a film that owes so much to not just the great high school comedies but also the buddy cop movies. The funny thing about this homage is that these two get along just fine. They don’t seem like the mismatched cops. What’s so great about having Olivia Wilde behind the camera is that we get a sense of her understanding who these characters are.  If you’ve ever been through high school, you’ve dealt with the awful labels.

What Bridesmaids represents for women in their 30s is what Booksmart represents for a new generation.

Please click HERE for my full review.

© Danielle Solzman (09/6/19) FF2 Media

Featured photos from Booksmart EPK
Photo Credits: Annapurna Pictures/UA Releasing

Tags: Booksmart, Female Filmmakers, Olivia Wilde

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Danielle Solzman is a Chicago-based film critic and an aspiring filmmaker if she can ever put enough time aside to work on her feature-length trans-led political comedy script. When not in Chicago, she attends various film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and Toronto. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a BA in Public Relations while earning a Masters in Media Communications from Webster University after writing a thesis paper on comic books against the backdrop of the American political culture.
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