You had me at John Cena and Leslie Mann crashing the same prom circa five times in one night.
Blockers is the story of three high school seniors deciding to lose their virginity on prom night. A plan that gets intercepted by their parents who go on a quest to c***-block the three girls, which leads to breaking and entering, a Fast and Furious imitation and a, well, different kind of beer-chugging contest, among other hilarities.
The premise of this comedy is pretty straight-forward. We’ve seen the whole ‘over-protective parent’ schtick in the early 2000s often enough. Blockers, however, takes it in a different direction. The parents, stereotypical as they might start out, undergo some massive character development throughout this delightful night. The realization of having to let their children experience life as individuals, make their own decisions and mistakes is the ultimate outcome of the rollercoaster ride that is this movie. But! Just as interesting as the parents’ perspective I found the girls’ experiences throughout the night. They party it up in a fancy limousine, don’t let the cops get in the way of their fun and have a genuine no-woman-left-behind attitude that makes their friendship so stellar. (Though nobody, not even the teenie-est of teens emoji-texts like that.)
What Blockers does right is to show the three young ladies not as victims of peer pressure (ultimately. Cut ’em some slack, would ya?) or “pure” princesses in need of saving. Neither does it show guys as predatory gigolos. Quite the opposite, in fact. So, despite it being your garden-variety American teenage comedy setting, that part was surprisingly progressive. Although, I would disagree with the description of Blockers as a ‘coming of age’ movie. Not every film involving teenagers is automatically in the ‘coming of age’ category.
John Cena (whom I first saw as an actor in one of my favorite tv shows Psych) is unsurprisingly likable as the stereotypical ‘football coach but at the same time complete softie’ type. His character Mitchell is married to Marcie (Sarayu Blue) who acts as the voice of reason and briefly opposes his and the other parents’ crazy antics. Their daughter Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) has thus far been the perfect star athlete with a healthy, grounded attitude. Throughout prom night she decides to let loose as much as she can for (likely) the first time ever but, thankfully, never turns into a trashy, wasted cliche, like other movies would have done.
Lisa, played by Leslie Mann
who is my #WomanCrushWednesday every week, is afraid of letting go, letting her daughter Julie (Kathryn Newton) leave for college and tries to protect her as much as possible – helicopter-parent style. No really, she actually tells Julie to message her every 30 minutes. But despite it all, Julie and Lisa do have a good, close relationship. She’s the leader of the parents group and one does learn quite a bit about her adventurous past.
Third parent in the group is Hunter (Ike Barinholtz). Kind of an absentee father after the divorce, kind of a beat-down looser and kind of an actual trashcan, he does try his best to give his daughter Sam (Gideon Adlon) the best prom night ever. He knows Sam is gay, even though she hasn’t come out to anyone, and, therefore, isn’t so much worried about her sleeping with a guy but rather about the other two parents ruining his daughter’s night. Sam being a bit on the nerdy, little bit awkward side herself, it is not the least bit shocking that her crush is literally the most awkward person in the entire movie. I am talking Napoleon Dynamite awkward. You’ll have to see it to know.
What it certainly is: a ridiculous, laugh-out-loud comedy. When I had the chance to watch it, there were several moments where the entire movie theater completely lost their shit. And if you, like me, aren’t the biggest fan of humor based around bodily functions, you’ll still have a great time since those scenes aren’t too dragged out or overpowering. Blockers with it’s crude, silly, in-your face humor has surprised a lot of critics and moviegoers and I’ll be damned if it isn’t a good time if you get the gang together to see it.