Fri, 6 April 2018
The trailer for Blockers doesn’t do the film justice. While the promos for this film make it seem like Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz are the focus and stars of the film, it’s really the young actresses (Kathyrn Newton, Gerladine Vsiwanathan and Gideon Adlon)who play their daughters who are the standouts. This film proves you can make a raunchy, edgy coming-of-age comedy without being super problematic or focused on dudebros. If Blockers was made 10 years ago, it would have been super white, super male and aged incredibly poorly like most comedies of this time. Instead, Kay Cannon’s film is pretty diverse, inclusive and turns most of the dudebro comedy tropes we’ve seen before on their head.
Think about it. We’ve seen plenty of films where young male high school students decided that “this is the night” they lose their virginity. But we’ve never seen it from a teen girl perspective. At least not done this well. In this film, the girls are all the aggressive ones with their dates for prom going along with their plan. While yes, the parents are frantically (and hilariously) trying to stop their daughters from going along with this pact, the focus is really about young girls exploring their own sexuality and forming their own decisions about what they want to do with their bodies. Gerladine Vsiwanathan is the standout star here. She's the "Tomboy" of the trio and makes most of the crass jokes but they're hilarious, well timed and she plays off of John Cena extremely well in their scenes together.
Even the parents buck some trends we normally see. Leslie Mann plays the overprotective single mom whose real issue is, she doesn’t want to let go of her daughter. This is typically the father role in most films. John Cena is the straight-laced sports dad, but he’s also a pushover and a stay-at-home dad whose wife is the breadwinner. Barinholtz is the “problematic” dad but even his character has a few progressive traits, like the fact that he’s figured out that his daughter is gay and just wants her to feel free enough live her truth.
Like I said, this is a film that from the trailers a lot of people might avoid but that would be a mistake. This is a smart, funny, progressive film that honestly probably makes a great case for why feminism and allowing women the ability to be free and open about their sexuality is good for everyone.
Three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on Prom night.