So Awkward: “Eighth Grade” captures the anxiety, discomfort of middle school, like, really well.
Everyone has been through middle school.
No one particularly looks upon it fondly. In fact, most people reflect back on it with a certain degree of agony. “Eighth Grade,” comedian Bo Burnham’s first feature in the writer/director’s chair, perfectly captures that preteen angst.
Following Kayla (Elsie Fisher), an acne-riddled, phone-absorbed girl who has just won the yearbook superlative “most quiet,” the film gives a play-by-play of every little detail that has ever made us squirm about our past selves. It’s a story that really hits home with its accuracy. Boys make farting noises with their mouths, girls freak out about what they’re wearing to the mall, etc. Kayla finds herself growing up in an uncomfortably familiar world of heightened emotions, naively accelerated sex standards and social media saturation. She is beginning to make really deep connections with her surroundings, but still has no idea what she’s doing.
Kayla’s father (Josh Hamilton) is constantly begging her to talk to and make friends with her school peers, and she wishes she could be cool enough to fit in. Instead, she just wrecks her confidence by... keep reading on the burg!
“Eighth Grade” starts at Midtown Cinema in early August.