Nutshell: By flipping the script on the usual teen sex romp, Blockers gives an empowering post-#metoo spin on the usual raunchy shenanigans. Plus, the teen-said/parents-said storyline gives something fun for all ages. Well, let’s say all ages over teen, shall we? Grade: B+
“It’s Fuck O’Clock.”
Story: Prom time! Parents Mitchell, Lisa and Hunter are gearing up to send their daughters to the “night of their lives”. But Kayla, Julie and Sam plan on enjoying their big night in a very special way; by losing their virginity. Needless to say, when the parents find out, their daughters plans may not be safe. NOBODY may be safe.
Genre I’d put it in: REAL Modern Day Sex Comedies
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Original
Gotta say: My brilliant plan of not checking out more than one trailer for a movie? Well, I had no idea how raunchy this film was going to get…and I’m not talking from the teen characters. Yeah, the adults are the real wackos in Blockers. From full frontal guy junk to ass beer, it’s on, and it’s glorious. Getting to see the adults act like children, while their children act like, well, teens with a brain, brought a fun balance to this story.
As Kayla’s dad Mitchell, John Cena looks like he’s having a blast as the big guy with a soft gooey center. Leslie Mann is her usual riff on the over-40 neurotic, but this time she’s a single hover-parent to daughter Lisa. And to round out the parental trio, Ike Barinholtz is more The Mindy Project than Bright. (Thank god, because Bright was heinous), bringing the crazy. Yeah, these parents are way off the charts, but this isn’t This Is Us, it’s a teen comedy. So I’ll let it slide.
As for the teens, Kathryn Newton (Supernatural), Geraldine Viswanathan (Janet King) and Gideon Adlon (yep, Pamela Adlon’s daughter) play Julie, Kayla and Sam. The three actresses have a believable onscreen friendship while balancing their characters yearning for adulthood and teen silliness. Bonus? The actresses, along with director Kay Cannon and writers Brian and Jim Kehoe, bring individuality to each character. Julie’s teen queen, Kayla’s sporty, and Sam’s offbeat personalities shine, and play well together. It’s a nice message that friends can bond and be themselves – no cookie-cutter likes and dislikes necessary.
Which brings me to the positive messages in this film. Yes, this is a story about how three girls are trying to lose it on prom night. Yes, there’s lots of raunch here. But. Let’s put aside the “yaaaaay, a teen comedy can be for The Womyn just like Bridesmaids!!111!” and get to what I really dug, because I’ll admit it; I didn’t care for Bridesmaids. Thought it sent a weird message about what’s acceptable for friendship. But enough about that. The message of Blockers is that teens can make responsible decisions, even if those decisions may not be what their parents think are responsible. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that the pact doesn’t go exactly as planned. But the three girls each do what the want to, in their own way. And that’s refreshing as hell.
So are the three guys the girls pick out for their evening. Lisa’s longtime boyfriend Austin (Graham Phillips), Kayla’s lab partner Connor (Miles Robbins), and Sam’s boyfriend Chad (Jimmy Bellinger). Each guy obviously is into their date, but there’s a solid level of respect and consent that plays out through the evening. No, Blockers isn’t a twee commercial for feminism, nor are the boys played as softies. The evenings events play out as wholly believable while showing teens how it can be done without being…a wuss? Too emo? Whatever. It works, and I loved it.
Now to the good stuff. And by good, I mean raunch. Be prepared to see some peen, but nothing under the age of 40. Oh, and you’ll be seeing some over-40 male tush as well. Can I get an amen, mah people? What? Without spoiling things, let’s just say that Gina Gershon and Gary Cole play delightfully open-minded parents. And the predicaments our three parents go through with those two are a definite R-rated hoot. Not to mention after Kayla decides to try a cookie…I’ve said too much. But her reaction is one of my favorite lines of the film. So are the scenes between Sam and Angelica (Ramona Young, Santa Clarita Diet) that isn’t raunch, but got me in all the feels. Plus, Young rocks the hell out of a cape.
What I didn’t particularly care for? The puking. I can’t handle it. I’m a total baby about that. And for folks who are right there with me, just be prepared when a certain limo scene gets blowsy. Almost Monty Python-esque blowsy. There’s also butt-chugging, ala the trailer, which I have a problem with as it can totally kill you. I get that the film wanted to put the parents in a predicament, but…no. Don’t do it, kids. Don’t do it, adults.
So. Can you handle raunch and nudity? Are you up for a comedy that pokes fun at adults while allowing their teens to be realistic teens? Then suit up. Maybe don’t ask yourself WWVDD though. Trust.