Cert 15 94mins Stars 4
Youtube star turned filmmaker Bo Burnham, writes and directs this US coming-of-age comedy-drama, and it’s an impressively assured debut from the 28 year old performer.
In the UK, 8th grade is the final year of middle school and the equivalent of Year 9, a difficult time for awkward and shy 13 year olds, such as the lonely Kayla.
Played by Elsie Fisher with painful honesty, she’s a social media-addicted tangle of anxiety with imperfect skin and an ordinary physique. An absence of female confidantes and positive role models means she has to negotiate life as best she can.
Kayla’s single-parent father is as equally out of his depth at parenting as she is at growing up, but the script has huge sympathy for the pair and is happy to forgo plot in favour strong character work and a high level of emotional articulacy.
It’s a shame those who would most benefit from watching this are too young to see it in the cinema.