This summer, movie theater audiences were teleported into blockbuster metropolises like San Francisco in Ant-Man and the Wasp and a destroyed dinosaur theme park in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. However, in Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, you travel back to the age that will always haunt you: thirteen.
Eighth Grade is the story of Kayla Day, an eighth grader in her last week of middle school. Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, posts videos on how to be confident on her Youtube page, but off the internet fellow students voted her as “most quiet”.
Burnham makes you feel like Kayla, a weird and anxious first year teenager who wants to fit in but be herself. In her videos with little to no views, she does tell you that you can do both. You can feel the sense of anxiousness when she walks into the pool party, the dread when she talks to her dad at the dinner table and her hopes for her high school years when she sends her future self a video.
Although the film is awkward, it is awkward in the best ways. For example, when Kayla sees her crush, loud blaring dubstep music screams in your ears, causing most of my audience to audibly cringe. This movie, by design, is full of many cringeworthy moments, but it’s okay because it’s a good cringe, a laughable, a memorable cringe.
Please hand the kid who constantly said, “LeBron James” and the principle who dabbed awards.
In all seriousness, Eighth Grade is a sight for all senses except smell (Editor’s Note: and even then, you can practically smell the chlorine during the pool party!). I highly recommend you take the journey back to middle school with Kayla even if you went to middle school decades ago. You will learn something about kids now and maybe even yourself then.
There is only one way to end this review… Gucci!
Eighth Grade is available on DVD now!