Emma Seligman‘s Bottoms takes us on a wild journey through the tumultuous world of high school, offering a fearless exploration of youth, sexuality, and friendship in this Bottoms movie review. As a follow-up to her impressive debut, “Shiva Baby,” Seligman collaborates once again with the talented Rachel Sennott, delivering an exhilarating rollercoaster of a comedy that defies easy categorization and challenges preconceptions in this Bottoms movie review.
The film introduces us to PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), two lesbian best friends navigating the complexities of high school life in Rockbridge Falls. They’re determined to shed their “ugly, untalented gays” image and gain popularity, setting their sights on romantic interests that seem out of reach in this Bottoms movie review. PJ is infatuated with Brittany (Kaia Gerber), an enigmatic beauty, while Josie finds herself drawn to Isabel (Havana Rose Liu), a captivating figure with a complicated relationship status.
What makes Bottoms stand out from typical high school comedies is its willingness to embrace the absurd and the erotic without veering into shame or puritanism. In an era where discussions about sex in media often tip-toe around sensitivity, Bottoms fearlessly dives into the complexities of desire and the messiness of growing up. It proudly joins the ranks of black comedies like Heathers, Jawbreaker, and Mean Girls, unapologetically reveling in the nastiness of adolescence in this Bottoms movie review.
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The Central Friendship
The film’s exploration of youth and sexuality is further enhanced by its portrayal of PJ and Josie’s friendship. Their relationship is far from perfect; it’s messy, sometimes toxic, and occasionally brings out the worst in each other. PJ’s penchant for deception and manipulation, particularly in her pursuit of popularity, contrasts sharply with Josie’s grounded and skeptical personality in this Bottoms movie review. Bottoms doesn’t shy away from depicting the selfishness, cruelty, and manipulation that can characterize teenage friendships, even within the LGBTQ+ community.
At the core of the film is the central mission of PJ and Josie: to lose their virginity before heading to college. However, their reputation as social outcasts makes this goal seem unattainable, given the seemingly unattainable status of their crushes. This is where the film takes an intriguing turn in this Bottoms movie review. A rumor spreads that PJ and Josie spent the summer in juvenile detention, coinciding with allegations of assault at their rival school, Huntington High. Seizing this newfound tough girl reputation, the duo concocts a plan to start a fight club, disguising it as a women’s empowerment and self-defense group. To their surprise, their well-meaning but oblivious teacher, Mr. G (Marshawn Lynch), becomes the club’s advisor.
The film’s plot then spirals into a series of unexpected and wildly entertaining twists and turns, resulting in a range of outrageous confrontations and comedic moments. Bottoms strikes a balance between sweetness and abrasiveness, navigating the absurdities of a hyper-violent and misogynistic high school culture with nuance in this Bottoms movie review. It even includes a poignant moment where the girls share their personal experiences with harassment, abuse, and sexual assault, highlighting the raw and unfiltered rage simmering beneath the surface of these characters.
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Bottoms also revels in its eccentricity, presenting a world that is deliberately enigmatic in terms of time and place. Rockbridge Falls feels suspended in time, with hints of a retro Happy Days vibe and an absence of modern technology in this Bottoms movie review. By refusing to pin down a specific era or location, the film contributes to its off-kilter storytelling.
One of the film’s standout features is its unique approach to humor, largely driven by the impeccable comedic chemistry between Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri. Their performances capture the essence of awkward teenage slackerhood while maintaining a dynamic and engaging presence on screen in this Bottoms movie review. Ruby Cruz, portraying Hazel, the third wheel to PJ and Josie’s friendship, adds emotional depth to the film amid the chaos.
In Bottoms, physicality and violence are strengths, with memorable fight scenes that capture the confusion and intensity of homosocial environments in high school. The characters’ exploration of physicality and aggression blurs the lines between empowerment and eroticism in this Bottoms movie review. One standout sequence sees the fight club members taking turns hitting each other as hard as they can, creating a simultaneously sexual and unsettling atmosphere that resonates with the film’s themes.
Furthermore, Bottoms doesn’t shy away from the erotic elements of its premise; instead, it uses them as a lens through which to examine feminist theory. The film incorporates a queer perspective, nodding to feminist scholar bell hooks, and addresses power dynamics and consent within teenage relationships in this Bottoms movie review. It boldly challenges traditional gender norms and power structures, inviting viewers to engage with these themes in a unique and audacious manner.
As Bottoms reaches its climax, it culminates in a hilariously absurd and over-the-top fight sequence that perfectly encapsulates the film’s penchant for pushing boundaries in this Bottoms movie review. This film isn’t for the faint of heart, as it revels in gore and physical comedy, offering a refreshing departure from the conventional humor found in teen comedies.
While Bottoms is undoubtedly a unique and daring film, it is not without its drawbacks. Some of the humor may not resonate with all viewers, as the film includes jokes related to eating disorders and genitalia that fall flat and feel out of place in an otherwise audacious narrative in this Bottoms movie review. These moments disrupt the overall flow and tone of the story, highlighting the fine line between edgy comedy and insensitivity.
Additionally, Bottoms could have explored the concept of gender in a more nuanced manner. The film adheres to a conventional boys vs. girls binary, missing an opportunity to challenge stereotypes further in this Bottoms movie review. Although it humorously touches on the subject of feminism, it could have been more inclusive and progressive in its approach.
Bottoms Movie Review: Final Thoughts
In conclusion, Bottoms is a daring and unapologetic exploration of youth, sexuality, and friendship, offering a unique perspective on the high school comedy genre. It boldly confronts the complexities of desire and the messiness of growing up, all while challenging traditional gender norms and power dynamics in this Bottoms movie review. With its fearless approach to humor and its ability to balance the sweet and the abrasive, Bottoms stakes its claim as a standout entry in the realm of teen comedies. While it occasionally falls into familiar tropes, its commitment to pushing boundaries and subverting expectations makes it a film that demands attention and discussion.
With Bottoms, Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott have crafted a film that defies easy categorization, challenging our preconceptions and leaving us with plenty to ponder. As we continue to grapple with evolving perspectives on sexuality in media, Bottoms offers a fresh and audacious take that’s bound to leave a lasting impression in this Bottoms movie review. So, whether you’re part of the “gimme more” crowd or the cautious Gen Zers, Bottoms is a movie that will make you rethink these dynamics. It’s a fearless dive into the chaos of high school life, a celebration of queer voices, and a testament to the power of storytelling that dares to be different.