Booksmart, a movie that was incredibly funny and left me unable to shut about Billie Lourd’s abilities as a character actor for the better part of a month, was fairly or unfairly dubbed a “Superbad but with girls” by the critics. In a recent interview, director Olivia Wilde explained in an incredibly patient way why that’s just a little bit fucked up.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment via The Playlist, Wilde very graciously avoided shitting on Superbad while expressing her wish that Booksmart and other women-led movies could just be their own thing:
“I mean, hopefully, we get to a point where every female movie doesn’t have to become the female version of a male film, but I loved Superbad,” Wilde said. “I mean, in a certain sense, I’m like, we should be so lucky. I fucking love that movie. It’s amazing. But I did feel that we should stand alone. Hopefully, that’s a kind of pattern that we’ll grow out of. Movies don’t have to be the female version of anything. You know? And one day there will be a male Booksmart.”
Compounding the fuckedupedness of the fact that Booksmart got stuck with the label was the fact that the Superbad creators released Good Boys last summer, which was just Superbad with even younger boys.
Booksmart only earned $22 million in its entire run, while Good Boys earned nearly that in its opening weekend, a disparity Wilde has attributed in multiple interviews to her film being an indie and Good Boys having the Universal Studios hype machine behind it. But she also wonders if maybe a bit of the reason audiences seemed to love one film while overlooking the other could have to do with the fact that many human beings are still unable to recognize jokes when they escape the lips of a woman:
“I also think that, you know, people are more accustomed to male-dominated comedies and there is still a certain reluctance to believe that women can make you laugh as hard. And that still exists, which is sort of nuts to you and me…But there’s still a lot of work to be done to say, like, hey, this is not a male-dominated game.”
Booksmart is funny, and if you enjoy the sensation of laughter even if it be a lady who inspires that sensation, you should watch it.