'Blockers' review: Rowdy and irreverent

The raunchy teen comedy is a genre that is mostly seen from the perspective of a man.

For example, Chris and Paul Weitz’s American Pie (1999) owes its memorability for its unceremonious take on a man’s awkward journey towards his sexual awakening. The film’s gags center on the giddy excitement and humiliating desperation of the characters in relation to quelling their raging hormones.

Screenshot from YouTube/Universal Pictures

Sexual destinies

Kay Cannon’s Blockers, about a group of high school friends who plan to lose their virginity on prom night, occupies the same territory.

Julie (Kathryn Newton) is very much in love with her boyfriend and has decided that prom night is the right time for her to finally sleep with him. Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), on a whim, tags along and randomly chooses her lab partner to be the man to lose her virginity with. Sam (Gideon Aldon), who is secretly a lesbian, decides to lose hers with her boyfriend just to know for sure what her sexuality is.

A single mom, Lisa (Leslie Mann), is afraid that Julie is not really in love with her boyfriend and that her daughter’s decision to sleep with him will just be the first of many wrong decisions in her life. Mitchell (John Cena) couldn’t fathom the idea that Kayla will be losing her virginity with a man he thinks is not worthy of her. Finally, Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), who knows that Sam likes girls, does not approve of his daughter losing her virginity to a man despite her sexuality.

The biggest difference here is that its protagonists are women who are ironically more in control of their own sexual destinies. The bulk of the comedy belongs to the parents, who for varying reasons, are on a hilariously an absurd mission to stop their kids from having sex for the very first time.

Rebellious streak

Blockers is both rowdy and irreverent.

In a way, it works because it is unafraid to comedically depict the adult characters as both immature and misinformed, deserving of being schooled by their children when it comes to living their lives.

The film has a rebellious streak to its sense of humor. In demeaning the parents and their backward efforts to overly protect their daughters, Cannon champions her younger characters’ right to self-actualization, to freely decide when, where and with who they can celebrate their womanhood.

She is careful not to depict sexual expression as a humiliating affair, unlike the Weitz brothers’ now infamous scene of a teenage boy fornicating an apple pie, but insists it to be a beautiful thing if it is within the grasp on control of woman.

Screenshot from YouTube/Universal Pictures

Sense to the silliness

Easily, Blockers is meaningful when it needs to be, notwithstanding the indisputably uproarious scenes like the ones where Cena is challenged to a distressing version of a beer-guzzling competition or where Mann attempts The Fast and the Furious-type car stunts.

There is actual sense to all the silliness. – Rappler.com

 

Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass.

Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.