Kayla is a 13-year-old who must endure the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through her last week of middle school - and the end of one disastrous year of eighth grade.
Eighth Grade strikes the perfect balance between a coming of age drama, a high school comedy, and a horror movie. It perfectly encapsulates the terrors that eighth graders must endure, while also portraying the issues many American's face in today's digital age.
"Eighth Grade felt like a beautifully cinematic, well-cast, embarrassingly accurate reenactment of my middle school diary."
I was brought to tears by not only the tensely realistic father-daughter relationship, but also just the sheer relatability of Kayla's simultaneous shame and hope, clear in all of her social interactions. The film's stringent focus on not only the main character's romantic, but her platonic relationships also marked an important deviation from the historically traditional teen-movie. Kayla's first interactions with high school mentor Olivia feel just as palm-sweat inducing and heart wrenching as the scenes with love interests Aidan or Gabe. In all, the film brings empathy (especially for our generation) to the next level. Eighth Grade will hopefully flash any audience member, particularly those born after 1999, back to their own personal last months of middle school hell - but in the best way possible.
"This one hits close to home"
As somebody who didn't have the best middle school experience, I was curious to see how Bo Burnham would tackle such a wide array that comprises typical, yet very real adolescent lifestyles. Each scene is reminiscent of an event that either you can relate to or know others who can relate to, including Burnham's attempts to showcase social anxiety and the pressures of your peers.
"I did not expect this movie to tug my heartstrings as profoundly as it did"
About three quarters of the way through my first viewing of Eighth Grade, I found myself starkly aware of how many tears were on my face. Though I wasn’t aware of it, I think I went into the theater expecting more of a goofy, thoughtless comedy. Up until this film, my favorite Bo Burnham piece was that Vine of him spinning around in a bathtub wearing goggles.
"This movie wrecked me and coming from Bo Burnham, I was surprised.
This film helped me understand more about myself than any other film I have seen. After watching this film, I could forgive a past self. I could understand the feelings that I felt in middle school and I knew that I wasn't alone. This movie wrecked me and coming from Bo Burnham, I was surprised. Even at the age of 19, I could relate to Elsie Fischer's character because she doesn't have many friends, struggled to fit in, and had social anxiety. Although I saw this film month ago, I still think about it and how I felt to see it for the first time.
I look forward to see where Bo Burnham goes from here because he is truly a genius. 10/10
"One of the best coming of age stories of our time."
From the youth’s realistically accurate and well written dialogue to their actions and attire, you’ll have definite moments of reflecting on your past and realize how similar yet how very different today’s youth is to the past youth.
"I became far more invested in this story than I expected, and overall, I can’t recommend it enough."
The fact that this is Bo Burnham’s writing and directorial debut is ridiculous. 8th Grade is an excellent movie. Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton are incredible in the lead roles, and Bo Burnham’s writing is about as good as it gets. He managed to capture the modern social experience of middle school perfectly; so perfectly, in fact, that much of the film can be a bit hard to watch. I became far more invested in this story than I expected, and overall, I can’t recommend it enough. Definitely go see this movie, it is just great.
"I'm so ready for the next 60+ years of Bo Burnham art we're about to receive"
There are so many reasons to go see Eighth Grade as quickly as possible, here are just a few:
1. Incredibly realistic father-daughter relationship
2. Two dinner scenes (one happy, one not so happy)
3. Elsie Fisher's performance (how is this her first movie)
And really, besides a few cliches that it falls into (the popular girl story line comes to mind), this is a near perfect coming of age feature debut for Bo Burnham.
"The movie equivalent of how anxiety feels"
This movie is all about internalized anxieties, and those are (by definition) hard to translate onto the big screen. But for the most part, Bo Burnham makes it work in beautiful and poignant ways.