Alice Romano’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really struggle to understand why so many people loved this film so much. I found it so bad that it made Lady Bird, a film I found equally dull and arrogantly self-absorbed, look good. It also reminded me at times of The Bling Ring for its themes, atmosphere, and soundtrack, and this definitely is not a good thing. There are so many things I didn't like about it that I don't even know where to start. But I'm going to try:
- the story is clearly written by adults who are trying really hard to imagine what being teenagers in 2019 means, because this does not feel realistic at all;
- this film explicitly tries really hard to be liberal and (I cring just typing the word) "woke" that it ends up being both unrealistic and annoying, because of how weak those attempts are - a lesbian teenage girl who is "out" and has no struggles in school because of this, "Malala" as a source code, Michelle Obama and a "RESIST" poster in the first shot, a genderless bathroom that isn't at all what a genderless bathroom is like, and on top of it all, a "woke" murderer;
- it took four people to write this and the screenplay is still a directionless mess and the dialogues are pretty poor;
- the film is based on the idea that those students who work hard and those who stay out partying all the time can get the same academic results, which is obviously not true;
- it follows the exact same pattern, structure, and tropes of all coming-of-age films of this kind, I found nothing particularly interesting in this one;
- it perpetuates the idea that the "nerds" who study dream to be like the "cool kids" that they can't manage to fit in with, which is harmful, but more than this, the film actually encourages those "nerds" to fit in and lose their individuality in the name of joining a cool and fun crowd.
I do love the title though. It hints at the fact that studying a lot doesn't make you smart but only booksmart, and being socially smart is a completely different thing, which these two girls clearly aren't.