Eighth Grade Reviews
I'm an asian guy in my late 20's. I don't think i'm very similar to this film's protagonist in that regard. However, this film explores the character's emotions and day to day struggles in such a tangible, efficient way that the empathy i felt for the character and her emotions in each and every scene is unparalleled in my experience. Being a different gender, age, and having had a different adolescence was no obstacle for me to bond and feel as if i were this eighth grader.
To me, pacing is a make or break in a film, and Eighth Grade's pacing is perfection, the film flows naturally and never stretches a scene too far or underdevelops a tangent. It perfectly juggles cringy, natural dialogue and tiny, subtle comedic details. It understands timing and entertainment in such a precise way that it's no surprise it was written and directed by a comedian, MIND YOU, this does not mean this is a comedy, not at all. Bo Burnham understood what part of his skills as an entertainer to bring to this project, and what parts to leave out of it. So if Burnham's "wackiness" is not your style, don't worry, he was smart enough to leave that out of this film.
At the same time, the story doesn't go for a super dark teen coming-of-age story. (minimal spoiler alert) We do not see the character crying in the bathroom shattering the mirrors, overdosing on drugs or cutting her wrists, because it doesn't need to. Once again, the dose of drama and suffering is very meticulously handled, no hyperboles, no cheap tricks.
It feels very honest, from the script and the performances, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and i never knew what was going to happen, and that curiosity, matched with the film's impecable pacing and way of making you care for the character, make for a smooth experience that will end with you wanting to see more, but the beauty is you won't.