Essentially a girls’ version of Porky’s meets American Pie, Universal’s latest entry in the raunchy-comedy sweepstakes is an R-rated answer to all those endless horny-teenage-boy movies where the whole goal is to see who can lose their virginity first. In the case of Blockers, three teen girls make a #sexpact to do just that on their prom night, picking three unsuspecting boys to do the deed and free them from all the peer pressure.
As I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), the difference here is a good amount of heart thrown into the sexual stew, likely due to the presence of a female director, Kay Cannon, making her behind-the-camera debut after writing the Pitch Perfect films among others. To be sure the script is credited to men, Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe, and the film comes from producing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (among others), but Cannon has given it a slightly different feel than the usual male versions of these events, and that’s a very good thing. Plotwise, though it is the parents of these girls that are front and center as they play the title character of “blockers”, cleverly preceded by a drawing of a rooster in case you need the true meaning of the movie’s name explained more thoroughly.
'Blockers' Director & Cast On Telling Funny, Female-Fronted Story - SXSW
It all starts when single mom Lisa (Leslie Mann), dad Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), and jock dad Mitchell (John Cena) drop their respective daughters off for their first day of school and, just like the BFFs themselves, bond over the girls they have in common. Cut to several years later and the girls Julie (Kathryn Newton), Sam (Gideon Adlon) and Kayle (Geraldine Viswanathan), respectively those daughters of the aforementioned adults, are now planning a prom night in which Julie urges her BFFs to join her in being deflowered. They make a sex pact but text each other in emoji language so their plans can’t easily be uncovered, but in a hilarious scene that is exactly what the three parents manage to do. Thus, a plan is set in motion to stop this from happening and the hijinks begin.
The film is full of the usual style of over the top, and extremely raunchy scenes we have come to expect including a butt beer contest Mitchell gets into, egged on by some teen partyers, and a wonderful piece of physical comedy pulled off by Mann as she finds herself forced to hide under the hotel room bed where her daughter is going to complete the deed. Cannon lets the comic action ramp up several decibels and of course none of it is very believable, but who cares when you have such talented farceurs leading the way.
I have always been a fan of Mann’s and she is in her zone here, as is Barinholtz who gets most of the funny lines. Cena, as he did in Trainwreck, proves he has comic chops to match his macho persona in other films. Newton, Adlon, and Viswanathan are all ideally cast, as are the boys nicely played by Graham Philips, Jimmy Bellinger, and Miles Robbins. Gary Cole and Gena Gershon have a memorable – and revealing – scene of their own as overly sexed up parents of one of the teen boys. Points to them for not holding anything back, but that seems to be the mantra of Blockers. I laughed a lot and I guess that’s the idea. Universal releases it tomorrow.
Do you plan to see Blockers? Let us know what you think.
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