[Header Image: Elsie Fisher as Kayla Day | A24]
“But it’s like, being yourself is, like, not changing yourself to impress someone else.”
I’ve been waiting so long to see this movie and thanks to an eight hour flight I took recently, I finally got to!
Eighth Grade follows Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) throughout her last days before she starts high school. Along the way we see that she has her own youtube channel and while everyone at school believes she’s quiet, Kayla thinks she’s actually quite talkative and even a little outgoing when you get to know her.
Throughout the movie we see Kayla giving advice to those who watch her channel on things like how to be more confident and along the way she tries to take her own advice by putting herself out there more. There are so many relatable moments in Eighth Grade even if you’re no longer that age because it seems that some things never really chance. Some moments are filled to the brim with secondhand embarrassment but the movie manages to be surprisingly deep. Not only does it delve into the fact that Kayla is shy and a little awkward at times as well as the usual ups and downs of being a teenager but it also looks into the fact that it’s just her and her dad living at home as well as showcasing the different types of things she might go through when she finally does get into high school.
Really, Eighth Grade is a good mixture. It’s funny but it also knows how to be serious and there are some pretty emotional scenes. With the comedy that filters in throughout, we get a mixture of genuine laugh out loud moments that are often a result of being surprisingly relatable or because things are so out of nowhere or even a little shocking that you can’t help but laugh. Regardless, it’s all genuinely funny and there’s really nothing forced about this movie.
Don’t get me wrong. As I said before, there is a lot of secondhand embarrassment that comes with this movie but it’s understandable. Kayla is a little awkward and things can be a little blunt and/or raw at times but it works and it’s surprisingly enjoyable. There is something so incredibly awkward and raw and blunt about being a teenager. Even when you grow up, you can still remember what it felt like to be that age and Eighth Grade captures it incredibly well even if we weren’t all teenagers at the same sort of time as Kayla.
Overall, I really enjoyed Eighth Grade and it was certainly worth the wait. I’m excited to see what Bo Burnham writes and directs next, especially with this being his (feature length) directorial debut.
Rating: ★★★★ /5