Before High (Film Thoughts: Eighth Grade)

fullsizeoutput_6e7e-e1531176977576How many times have you heard someone (of a certain age) say, ‘Could you imagine if you had social media during our youth?’   I always say that I lived and grew up in a more innocent time, with none of today’s constant barrage of information. Bo Burnham’s ‘Eighth Grade’ gives a glimpse of how today’s youth are dealing with, and surviving life with these tools. Burnham’s film feels so deep, so true to what it really feels to be a certain age that it reads like a documentary at times. And Elsie Fisher, as Kayla, is so authentic I may never be able to differentiate her from the actor for the rest of her career. I spent a good part of this film cringing while Kayla makes the same mistakes we all made, well at least I made them. She has a YouTube channel where she gives advise, yet struggles to apply the same things to her life. She has a crush on a kid, and acts so stupid when he is around (hell, I do the same thing at my age now)  There are a couple of scary anecdotes to how these kids live nowadays. For example, kids are now trained as to how to react when there is an active shooter at their school (‘Run the other way!’) and there is a round of Truth or Dare that is creepier than any horror scene. It is all so fascinating, and left a mark in my mind.

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