Bottoms Review – IGN

<em>Bottoms is now playing in select cities, and opens in theaters everywhere September 1.</em>

A Contemporary Twist on Teen Sex Comedies

Every generation has its own version of a teen sex comedy, and Bottoms pays homage to the golden age of this genre in the ’80s. It also draws inspiration from late ’90s teen rom-coms like She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You, along with the 2001 parody Not Another Teen Movie.

Directed by Emma Seligman as a follow-up to her viral film Shiva Baby, Bottoms combines the elements of a teen sex comedy with an outrageous send-up of the genre. Best friends Josie (played by Ayo Edebiri) and PJ (played by Rachel Sennott) are outcasts facing the daunting prospect of graduating from high school without any sexual experiences.

Bottoms Gallery

The main characters, PJ and Josie, are not only lesbians but also struggling with their perceived loser status. The film explores their insecurities about being “gay, untalented, and ugly.” While Rockbridge Falls High School demonstrates some progressiveness, it is still entrenched in the sports-centered culture that has dominated school life for years.

In an amusing turn of events, PJ and Josie find themselves defending their actions against the star quarterback, Jeff. They come up with the idea of starting a women’s self-defense club to justify tapping Jeff’s knee with their car. This allows them to delve into deeper hilarity, including being pinned to the gymnasium floor by the hottest cheerleaders in school.

Satirical Take on School Sports

The most comedic moments in Bottoms come from satirizing the preferential treatment given to football players in schools. The team receives special privileges, from a designated table in the lunchroom to having their star player painted into a replica of Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Nicholas Galitzine’s portrayal of Jeff as an oversized infant is key to establishing the film’s exaggerated reality.

Tongue-in-Cheek Feminism

Bottoms cleverly incorporates tongue-in-cheek commentary on feminism, as Josie and PJ adopt feminist jargon and principles to pursue their own sexual goals. PJ, in particular, is a flawed character who takes her loyal friend Hazel for granted while obsessing over “hot girls” like Isabel and Brittany. The film humorously explores the consequences of PJ’s selfishness as the plot unfolds.

Bottoms is funniest when it’s unabashedly silly and a little dumb.

Bottoms derives its humor from being unabashedly silly and a little dumb. The supporting performances that embrace this truth, such as Marshawn Lynch’s portrayal of a teacher preoccupied with his divorce, add to the overall hilarity. However, the film’s commitment to light-heartedness can make the relationships between characters less fulfilling.

While the dialogue packed with witty quips reminiscent of Booksmart varies in its effectiveness, the physical comedy remains largely restrained. Rachel Sennott’s willingness to engage in comedic physicality adds entertainment value, but the “fight club” scenes lean more toward bloodiness than slapstick, adding yet another tonal shift to an already multifaceted movie.

Even the music in Bottoms adds to its versatility, combining Charli XCX’s ’80s-style synth score with perfectly timed needle drops from artists like Avril Lavigne and Bonnie Tyler. Although the film may overwhelm with its abundance of material, it’s a delightful problem to have, and for these girls, getting knocked down is all part of the fun.