The Reel Review
This is the story of Kayla, a painfully shy, awkward, smartphone-addicted eighth grader trying to survive the final week of a disappointing school year. Writer/director Bo Burnham has created a subtle, stomach-churning comedy loaded with one “oh God, please no” moment after another, deftly brought to life by his muse, newcomer Elsie Fisher, who’s sweet, pimply face is a canvas of preteen hopes and disappointments as slump-shouldered Kayla lives her unremarkable life as an observer, hopelessly comparing herself to others she obsessively follows on social media. Josh Hamilton (Dark Skies, Manchester By The Sea) is terrific, especially at the film’s heartfelt climax, as her concerned father, terrified that one misspoken word could send his daughter into a tailspin. The biggest drawbacks of this film are a slow pace and its having no real plot and thus no resolution – just Kayla’s optimism that better days are ahead.