This past week, The Top 10 Show did the Top 10 Raunchy Teen Movies list and I had a definite problem filling my list (which I do every week after their podcast) up with films. In fact, I could only find six that I could rank.
Now, Blockers would be number one on that list.
As I stated, this genre of film is far from my favorite, but I really found Blockers to be more than just the sex jokes and the raunchy teen film. It had some real heart, some very strong characters and a lot of really funny humor. Who would have guessed?
Three senior girls(Kathyrn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon), who had been best friends since the first day of school, make a pact that all three of them would lose their virginity on prom night. #sexpact2018. Their parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz) accidentally discover this pact and decide that they would prevent their daughters from being successful in their pursuit of sex.
And so hilarity commences.
There were several things about Blockers that caught me off guard. Mainly, I really liked how the story played the girls part of the story in a realistic light and showed three young female characters who were strong, brave and knew what they wanted. These three young ladies were very different, but their friendship absolutely came through on screen and that chemistry between the three of them was a huge plus for the movie. It was especially nice to see this type of a film coming from a female perspective that did not feel the need to play the girls off as the victims or as naive. And all three actresses do a fantastic job, in particular Geraldine Viswanathan, who looks like a star.
The other half of the film featured the adults, chasing their daughters and this part of the film was considerably more slapstick or cartoonish, and these three actors do a great job with that. Leslie Mann is great here, bringing the most experience in the role. John Cena continues to show that he has skill in comedy and, while he still is learning, he provides a very solid and believable performance. However, Ike Barinholtz was probably my favorite character because of how much his character played with the expectations of who he was. He was shown originally as a scumball who cheated on his wife, but we learn more and more about him and we see him play against that type most of the time. This sets up the emotional reveal at the end that is a very strong pay off.
Most importantly, this movie has laughs. It is well written and expertly executed, which is even more amazing when you consider that this is director Kay Cannon’s directorial debut. She does an admirable job of balancing the two parts to the story and creating a group of characters in this ensemble that really stretch across the spectrum seamlessly.
The trailers make this look like a film that relies on the low brow humor, but I did not find it that way. Sure there are jokes that would fall into that, but there are many other instances that are extremely funny and, most of those low brow jokes actually do fairly well.
However, I had to deduct a huge part of the score because of an extended puke scene and I HATE puke scenes. Sure, this scene was not particularly realistic in its projectile vomit use, I still hate those. I just do not like them. It is a personal preference.
I also liked the three boys whom the girls take to prom. Each of them play on typical stereotypes of characters but switch things around to make them fresh. They felt like real kids who might actually like being together.
I will say that there were a couple of moments at the end of the movie that did not necessarily ring true. At least one of the storylines between the parents and the kids turned out to be too easy of a fix- almost as if it were on a sitcom that had reached the end of the episode and needed to wrap up. It felt as if the girl (without spoiling) should have been more angry with the parent than what she was.
Either way, Blockers was considerably better than I ever thought it would be. It was very funny, keeping me laughing consistently throughout, and had unexpectedly sweet and pretty developed characters. There are great performances and these characters end up playing against type. Blockers is a very entertaining comedy, and that is something I don’t say too often.