“A Time Capsule,” A Review of “Eighth Grade” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME
Director: Bo Burnham, Writer: Bo Burnham, Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson
Plot: “An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving to start high school.” -IMDB
Review: Let’s pretend it is the year 2,118. One hundred years from now, people will wonder what life was like back at the turn of our second millennia. Instead of trying to explain it to them using items commonly found in a time capsule, we will play “Eighth Grade.” As the credits roll, they will be left with a near perfect idea of what American life was like for kids and parents alike. Naturally, they will begin to compare it to their own lives. They will be confused, impressed, shocked, and left questioning.
As you watch this film, you can’t help but recollect about the same period in your own life. Comparing and contrasting becomes second nature with this movie. For me, the year was 1,998 and life was much different for me than the struggles of the young woman at the center of this film. Of course, it is nearly impossible to ignore the struggles we had in common.
This period in your life is such an awkward age and filled with a great deal of social anxiety. Wanting to be accepted and popular, kids grow up too fast, give into manipulation, peer pressure and conformity. They become consumed with fitting in and being like everyone else. Individuals rarely survive high school. They are better suited for college. While all of this is occurring, our parents stand cautiously by trying to both protect us and allow us to be free. This film perfectly captures the challenges of both kids and parents, perhaps better than any other film before it.
The struggle of youth for this film is both hilarious and heart-breaking. It will force you to remember longing for high school and the freedom of heading to the mall for the first time without your parents. It also has you focus on something new to this generation; the invasion of the likes. This current generation is consumed with social media. There is no escaping from friends, bullies and everyone in between. This new method of being accepted only complicates middle school. For this and so many more reasons, I recommend this film. Long after its theatrical release is over, I will still recommend it. We will need to pull it out from time to time and remind ourselves of how far we’ve come, hopefully.
Be good to each other,
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