Movie Review: Book Smart


Book Smart

By The Closet Conservative

Read my previously posted movie review, on Long Shot. (Short version: I did not like it)  That movie was Citizen Kane compared to Book Smart.  Yet, most critics love this movie. 97% favorable on the Rotten Tomatoes web site. I REALLY am truly a relic from the past. Two things strike me as odd and depressing about the popularity of this movie, ONE: was the reaction in the nearly full house I sat with on opening night. 80% of the audience was under 25 years old and eating it up. Laughing, while I was either bored, disgusted, depressed, or beside myself at the idiocy of the characters, that the audience seemed to be sympathetic to… TWO: The fact that adult critics found this movie funny, innovative, clever…

Just about every character was either stupid, or mean. (Certainly the only 4 adults shown in the movie were fools; two parents, one school teacher and one school principal.  This school principal made Principal Rooney from Ferris Bueller seem like Jaime Escalante.) If there was a character to root for in the movie, it may have been the blonde friend who started off with no backbone, but gained some courage later in the movie. (Question: Is it part of the current pop culture that EVERY youth show HAS to have at least one or more main characters gay, even when most numbers show that 90-95% of the population is heterosexual? Gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that –  is “in”, as being Christian or Conservative is out…)

The movie has every possible clichéd high school personality represented, and exaggerated multiple times. (The smart girl, the jock, the nerd, the Goth girl who is gay, the dopy principal, the cool-hip teacher, the do-good moronic parents….ah!)

And, how many times to I have to hear a 17-year-old say the “F” word, as though it were part of normal conversation?  And, to constantly make jokes and references to body parts and bodily fluids, just shows the lack of imagination the writers have. (Unless it was a staff of 7th grade boys)

I can get (although it does depress me) how 17 – 19 year olds can think this is funny, astute, and innovative. Yet, I can’t understand how dozens of critics (supposedly mature adults) can find this anything less that clichéd, moronic, immature boredom.  It’s a very lame (and exaggerated) version of the John Hughes genre I enjoyed so much in Sixteen Candles and Ferris Buellers day off. (I for one, did NOT enjoy Breakfast Club, finding that to be the pessimistic, finger pointing dark side of John Hughes kid world)

I also wonder…. Back in 1975 when I was laughing so much at Blazing Saddles, what where grandparents and parents thinking? Did THEY think that my generation had gone to hell in a hand bag? (As I was thinking last night?)…  in 1980, when I was laughing hysterically at “Airplane”, were my parents shaking their heads trying to understand me and the movie critics?

It very well may be a cultural thing…. Never the less, I could not give a more negative review and condemnation for this movie had I been paid off. Awful. (And the trailer is actually quite charming – made me want to see it)… Again, as with Long Shot I went with my 21 year old daughter, and she was enjoying it. And again, I myself should have gone to see, My Dog’s Journey.