Studio 360

Booksmart’s Besties, and Ishtar Reconsidered

Why Elaine May’s 1987 flop Ishtar deserved better, the stars of Booksmart on their favorite on-screen friendships, and how watching Star Trek as a boy changed everything for Ronald D. Moore.

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In 1987, Elaine May’s comedy Ishtar was savaged by critics and flopped spectacularly, but it turns out that the movie is actually pretty funny—and the reason it failed is pretty complicated. Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, the stars of Booksmart, tell Kurt Andersen about how they became friends after they were cast as friends—and they bring a playlist of some of their favorite on-screen friendships. The final episode of the original Star Trek series aired 50 years ago this week, and Ronald D. Moore reveals how watching reruns of the show made him a science fiction fan and ultimately led to becoming staff writer for Star Trek: The Next Generation and, in a movie for the franchise, to killing off his hero, James T. Kirk.

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