Bottoms is a hysterical satire of the high school experience told from the perspective of the unattractive and talentless queer students who form a fight club to get laid. While high schools and students have changed over the years, the same anxieties and insecurities forever loom over the next waves of students in an endless cycle. Playing in a very similar vein to the 21 Jump Street film, this film’s particular high school is a hyper stylized one that revolves around its lead football player and his effect on the entire town. Queer kids are no longer bullied for being queer, but they are if they’re considered queer, ugly, and talentless. You can be two of those and get away with it, but never all three as our main characters remark early on.
Ayo Edebiri has had a few great years with many projects highlighting her quirky humor and commitment to her comic bits. She’s also proved in The Bear that she has a very serious side which comes into play as her character is more conflicted about using a fight club to finally have sex than her counterpart in Rachel Sennott. Sennott’s PJ is much tougher and more abrasive than Edebiri’s Josie, which certainly helps sell the seriousness of a fight club and their rumor that they went to Juvie over the summer and got in all sorts of fights.
The classic high school mistakes and emotions run high in this film, working both as a solid emotional background and major enhancement to the satirical bits. The LGBTQ+ characters and their personal stories help build some strong emotional ground, while also offering up some extremely wild and catty jokes. All the interactions with the football team are hilarious, playing up the egos and importance of football to small towns and showing how everyday townsfolk would curse your name if you ever even talked down about the team. Pitting the women against the football team made for some truly unforgettable moments both in action and the Ryan Murphy-like high school dialogue they spit back and forth at one another.
Bottoms marks another incredibly solid entry into a year that’s been very kind to moviegoers when it comes to new comedy. Director and co-writer Emma Seligman clearly grew up watching some of the all-time high school movie classics, but she also had a lot of influence with the television of the 2000’s and the deconstruction of the Hollywood high school experience. It feels true to that time when we all felt like the world was ending when we faced rejection or embarrassment, but it also stays true to the absurdity that is friendship and the wacky things you say to your friends. With raunch and laughs aplenty, the Bottoms crew have created something for everyone that highlights those who were often underappreciated and overlooked!
Listen to the full audio review below on our podcast page, or through any of the following platforms!