Eighth Grade: An Awkwardly Relatable Movie

Emily Levine, Staff Writer

Awkward. Scary. Nerve-racking.

These are just some of the words that nearly everyone would agree on which accurately describe the eighth grade. The final year of middle school is like a big game of follow-the-leader, but not even the leader knows what they are doing. The movie Eighth Grade, released this past July, perfectly captures all of these feelings and more.

Eighth Grade is an insightful comedy directed by Bo Burnham and produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, and Christopher Storer. Ever since the trailer released, I knew it would be an amazing movie—it even won “Audience Favorite” at the Sundance London Film Festival.

The movie follows aspiring Youtuber Kayla Day, played by Elsie Fisher. Kayla has braces, acne, and body insecurities; essentially, she is a stereotypical, awkward eighth grader. As Kayla struggles to find her way through life because she constantly feels uncomfortable and shy, she turns to making Youtube videos in order to express herself and feel more confident.

Though sometimes painful to watch due to its accuracy and awkwardness, Eighth Grade is the most real and relatable film I have seen in a while. From people saying “Gucci!” all the time to the “hottest” boy in school being a scrawny kid with skinny abs who wears Thrasher shirts, everyone can relate to the movie at one point or another.

While the movie is centered around issues in middle school, it is surprisingly rated R. Even though this is an amazing and relatable movie, one should be cautious seeing it with a middle schooler or young sibling, as some of the content is too mature for a younger audience.

Overall, Eighth Grade did a great job of bringing middle school—and all of its ups and downs—to life, while also making its viewers feel grateful they are (hopefully) no longer in that environment.