Awkward moments in 'Eighth Grade' hit home for teens, parents

Burnham's coming-of-age story is touching a nerve with moviegoers.

Comedian-turned-director Bo Burnham's new film, "Eighth Grade," is hitting close to home for moviegoers young and old.

The film takes an up-close look at the roller coaster experiences of a young student as she makes her way through the final week of middle school. It takes audiences back to happy memories as well as the many cringe-worthy moments everyone would like to forget.

Burnham told ABC News that creating the film was actually a way to express his own feelings.

"I really set out to make a movie about how I was feeling -- what I felt like it felt like to be alive now, which to me it felt confusing and weird and strange and everything was changing," he said. "So, very quickly it seemed to line up with middle school."

The film stars newcomer Elsie Fisher as Kayla, a seventh-grader, who struggles to deal with the day-to-day pressures of relationships and life -- changes that hit hard preparing for high school.

"I was drawn to watching kids trying to express themselves," Burnham, 27, told Peter Travers. "The huge pressure you can kind of tell with young people expressing themselves is the cultural standard of movies ... they want to sound like the young heroes they see in movies giving perfectly worded voices to perfectly capture the narrative they're in."

That inner quest for movie perfection was part of his idea for the film.

"The way kids fall short of that, I think, ironically, is worthy of a movie," he added. "The way they sort of fail to be a good movie in their own mind."

"That's the weird thing about all post-John Hughes generations, myself included," Burnham continued. "By the time we get to our first kiss, we've seen first kisses 50 times in movies. So when we get to all of the landmarks in our childhood, we go like, 'Why isn’t this as cool as "Ferris Bueller"'? 'Why does my life feel really lame?' Or, 'Why do I feel like I've seen this before?'"

"Eighth Grade" is in theaters everywhere.

Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Bo Burnham in the video above.