Movie Recommendation: Eighth Grade


Written by: Hannah Yacob

Eighth Grade (2018). written and directed by Bo Burnham starring Elsie Fisher as the lead Kayla. is a movie that does an amazing job depicting the experience of a 13-year-old girl becoming older and more mature along with the process of navigating both social and romantic life during the awkward years. 

Kayla, an awkward girl who has a Youtube channel to, in a way, fake it until she makes it, is somewhat of an outcast amongst her peers who see her as painfully shy and quiet. By patronizing her viewers with tips she is able to try and help herself believe in the same things in relation to her personal life. She repeatedly makes efforts to form friendships and progress her relationship with Aiden, the boy she has a crush on. Fisher plays the role well, stuttering with her deliveries almost naturally and having the perfect awkward mannerisms and facial expressions. Kayla is also unnecessarily combative and irritable just in the way a girl her age would be toward people like her father who love her unconditionally. 

Burnham does a great job incorporating details that are heavily reminiscent of the 2017 and 2018 middle school years like Snapchat filters and other social media, lifestyle YouTubers, and memes and sayings amongst teens at the time. The outfits are also very accurate to the times, showing the influence of Tumblr and brands like Hollister and Forever 21. 

At times since the awkwardness of the age is so well depicted sometimes it can even be hard to watch, but that only speaks to the great writing and acting. This critically acclaimed movie manages to be relatable, heart-wrenching, and funny. The bittersweet story can resonate with nearly anyone who has experienced the insecurity of teenage girlhood and it is the perfect movie to watch for its realism and accuracy.