Eighth Grade Review
I absolutely adore Bo Burnham so knowing that he wrote and directed this film meant I had to watch it immediately.
Eighth Grade follows a young girl called Kayla who has just finished eighth grade and is going into high school. It’s a very simple premise that just documents a young girl‘s life, but she also makes YouTube videos of advice that we see her take and implement throughout the film which was a nice extra touch.
I really liked that aspect of it because, being set in the modern day, we get to see Kayla use a lot of social medias and so to see her being an aspiring YouTuber who does advice videos that she is still learning about in her every day life was a really nice plot point to help show her character development throughout the whole film.
In this film we see Kayla dealing with the fact that she doesn’t really have many friends, being embarrassed and ashamed around the popular kids even when she’s invited to their parties, and even her getting harassed by an older boy who she end up hanging out with when she shadows a high schooler.
I really liked that inclusion of the harassment scene because it showed a switch in Kayla. Before that she was this lonely girl who had no friends and had these dorky little hobbies that she enjoyed doing, but she always was aspiring to be more popular and have the cool boyfriend. Once this moment happened we saw the switch in her that dimmed her light in some ways but also made her realise that her silly little issues from middle school meant nothing with what was really out there.
I liked to see Kayla come into her own with realising that high school is a fresh start and she can be whoever she wants to be and it doesn’t matter about the popular girls because they don’t have hobbies and interests that mean something to them, they’re doing stuff because it’s cool and that’s it, and it was nice to see Kayla do a short little video to herself as a middle schooler talking to her high school future self because it showed that she had hope for the future, she had things that she was excited for, and it was nice to see that sparkle in her.
I feel this movie understood teenagers perfectly especially in this changing time of social media and perfection and it really cemented in me the fact that life has changed so much since I was in school. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be in school and seeing everything you do on social media and how big the world is and having every moment of your life documented.
This was a film that was such a simple idea but had such great execution. It really got you to know the character of Kayla and who she is, and if you were ever like her in school being a bit shy and a bit introverted and ostracised, then you can definitely see yourself in her and empathise with her. It made you realise what kids are going through these days and how weird it’s going to be to have your own kids and be out of touch like your parents were when you were in school. But it also gives you a lot of hope for the next generation in that hopefully, through social media and through being so connected, they will learn things a lot quicker to not make the same mistakes we did as teenagers.
What did you think of Eighth Grade?
Until next time.