For most people, eighth grade was a nightmare. There was acne, awkward adolescent romances, and angsty teen drama. And that was before social media was a thing.
Eighth Grade, a coming-of-age drama by director Bo Burnham, shows the reality of growing up - puberty, braces, and all - through the lens of a 13-year-old girl named Kayla. Since its nationwide release earlier this month, people have described the film as "the first movie to nail youth culture in the digital age."
The reason: It's brutally honest. Watch the trailer (and prepare for an *instant* flashback):
So much so that A24, the production company behind the film, was required to give it a R-rating due to swearing and sexual remarks. We all know that you can't have an accurate middle school gym class without an occasional swear word or two.
"I didn't want to make it R-rated," Burnham told Variety. "I just wanted to portray the way kids' lives are. It didn't feel like our responsibility to portray the reality that we felt was appropriate for kids."
Here's the problem: The target audience of this movie (middle schoolers) are too young to actually see it in theaters. However, after nationwide success, A24 announced that they will hold free screenings - for all ages - in all 50 states today, Wednesday, August 8. The free tickets will be available one hour before showtime at the selected theater's ticket booth. As expected, tickets are limited and on a first come, first serve basis. In other words, get there early!
Burnham and Elsie Fisher, the 15-year-old actress who plays Kayla, hope that parents and teens head to the theater. "Maybe sit on opposite sides of the theater - and talk about it afterwards," explains Fisher. Why? Because one of the best ways for parents to understand their children is to take a walk in their shoes (even if it's a fictional one).
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