Eighth Grade

Certificate: 15

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Luke Prael

Release date: 2019

4 out of 5

4

A modern day coming of age film as lived out via social media and the latest technology, this is a must see not just for older kids, but also for every parent with a teenager at home. 

It follows 13 year old Kayla (a phenomenal Fisher) in the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to go to high school. 

She spends a lot of her time making YouTube videos full of self-help tips for other like minded teens and even more on her phone checking Instagram and other social media. Her hilarious and informative vlogs show how witty, smart and eloquent she actually is, but at school she is seen as socially awkward and introverted – a situation not helped by her winning the Most Quiet of her year award. 

Meanwhile, her father (Hamilton), who has been looking after her single-handedly since her mother left them, does his best to bolster her confidence telling her how cool and brave she is, which of course falls on deaf ears. 

This is a wonderfully funny yet heartbreaking comedy drama aimed at older teens as it deals with numerous sexual issues and pressures faced by youngsters today such as sexting and being forced into sending compromising photos of themselves.

Facebook is now passé and mean girls have upped their game, lauding it over those they feel are beneath them with their mobiles and their dominance on Instagram and the like. 

Fisher delivers a captivating standout performance as the adorably geeky Kayla in a terrific, memorable film from writer/director Bo Burnham that will appeal to older teenagers and adults alike.

Is Eighth Grade suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 15 certificate in the UK and features bad language as well as sexual references. One scene involving a web search shows a woman explaining a sexual technique. The film also deals with sexting and the exchange of dirty photos via phone.

There is a scene in the back of a car in which an older teenage boy tries to pressurise Kayla into having sex, along with a school drill on what students should do if a gunman runs amok on the premises which some people might find upsetting.

 

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