Mike's Letter

Friday, September 13, 2019


Michael Moore here. Beginning today we’re going to have one last week of what for me is my favorite film if the year (so far!). It’s called “Booksmart," and the first time I saw it I was so happy to see...a comedy! Where are all the great comedies when we need them?! We need them now! And we need smart comedies — not the dumb stuff that insults us, but the brilliant, rollicking ones that are full of wit and satire and take us to that dangerous place where we’re not sure if we should laugh or look away.

For years, it’s been a rare day in Hollywood when we got to see a comedy made by a woman. Because, you know, how really funny are women? You don’t even need both hands to count the number of female directors who’ve been allowed to make a comedy. Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Lynne Ramsay, Penelope Spheeris, Elaine May, Nancy Meyers. A few others. And we are all the worse off for it.

So when a movie like “Booksmart” comes along, a film written, directed and starring women who are up to something both subversive and meaningful, it is a cause for joy if you are a movie lover and a human being who wants to hear from, be entertained by and become enlightened by the majority gender.

But don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you should go see "Booksmart" because it’s the “right thing” to do --I’m telling you should head down to the State Theatre this week because I’m showing you a great friggin’ movie. By now, after 15 years of this I think I’ve earned the cinematic capital to cash in everyone now and then and say to you, “go with me on this one. I won’t let you down.” September is a crazy month here.  Getting the kids back to school. Getting ready for the first snowfall next week. Seeing your last teenager off to college and silently weeping because you’ll never see them again (spoiler alert: SO not true! Keep the Cardi B and Harry Potter posters up in their room!)

It’s busy, the zen of summer has come crashing down like a coho salmon splattering itself swimming the wrong way onto the Boardman River dam. And you need a break. You need a laugh. You need to be charmed by two 18-year old girls ready to take on the world.

Oh yes — the story. “Booksmart” takes place over a 24-hour period on the last day of high school for two of school’s smartest, nerdiest, and most politically astute girls — Molly and Amy (played by Beanie Feldstein from “Lady Bird” an Kaitlyn Dever). They have never attended a high school party and as this is their last night to do so, they throw caution to the wind and head out to have some fun. That’s really all you need to know. It is a beautiful film about friendship, growing up and out, and facing this fearful world. Here is a movie that refuses to ignore the times we are living in and then decides to tear into it with good humor, charm and a reminder that it’s young women like these two who are going to lead us to a better place.

Booksmart” is written by a group of four women, produced by Megan Ellison, and directed Olivia Wilde. This is her directorial debut which makes the movie even more amazing. Its rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 97%! It’s one if the best reviewed films of the year.

Come down to the State Theatre this week for a real treat.

Michael Moore