By: Emily Eberhart | Editor
September 12, 2018
Comedian, actor, and now director, Bo Burnham released his first ever film, Eighth Grade, this summer on July 13th, 2018. Raw and masterful, it urges people of all ages to reflect upon their most awkward stage of life: middle school. The movie follows the main character, Kayla, through her tumultuous eighth grade year. Taking place in the modern age, she battles the struggle of juggling a social media presence as she simultaneously navigates the complexities of puberty and the extreme anxiety that accompanies the process of coming of age.
Though her story can evoke intense secondhand embarrassment and discomfort in the minds of the audience, the way her story is conveyed on screen forces each and every viewer to empathize with her and to feel everything she feels as she experiences it. Perhaps what makes this film so powerful is Kayla’s innate ability to relate to the audience.
“Middle school was really rough for me,” senior, Sam Chen recalls of her prepubescent years. “I floated around under the radar and was just really awkward and didn’t have any friends at all.”
Similarly, senior, Daisy Frauenzimmer remembers her hectic experience through eighth grade. “I remember being really uncomfortable in social situations,” she said, thinking in retrospect. “It was hard to make new friends because trying to hang out with new people felt so awkward to me.”
Despite the greater theme of this movie revolving around social media and its role in growing up in the modern age, the movie manages to comfort today’s middle schoolers while also appealing to those who experienced middle school long before modern technology. From uncomfortable pool parties, to struggling with confidence, Eighth Grade encaptures a collective experience and presents it on the big screen.