Blockers Comedy

Film Review: 'Blockers' is More Than Your Typical Raunchy Sex Comedy

April 6, 2018Ben MK

Raunchy teen sex comedies are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but for some reason, it seems no one has ever thought to make a movie about what the parents of said adolescents would do if they learned of their kids' planned sexual escapades. Until now.

Mitchell (a scene-stealing John Cena), Lisa (Leslie Mann) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) are the proud parents of Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), Julie (Kathryn Newton) and Sam (Gideon Adlon), who became friends when their daughters hit it off with one another on the first day of school. But fast forward 13 years, and the trio aren't quite as chummy, with single mom Lisa ignoring cry-a-holic Mitchell's phone calls because his happy family reminds her of how she'll die alone, while they both ignore Hunter, who's become the black sheep of the neighborhood ever since he and his wife divorced after he cheated on her.

Meanwhile, Julie plans on attending UCLA in the Fall, despite her mom's insistence that she enroll somewhere close to home like the University of Chicago; Kayla is a star soccer player and the apple of her dad's eye, despite growing up faster than he would prefer; and Sam is introverted and conflicted about her sexuality, despite the longing looks she's constantly directing at fellow classmate Angelica (Ramona Young). Suffice to say, the three BFFs are like three peas in a pod, and so when Julie decides that prom night would be the ideal time for her to lose her virginity, both Kayla and Sam declare they want in as well.

And so, #SexPact2018 is born. But no sooner do the girls leave for prom with their dates Austin (Graham Phillips), Connor (Miles Robbins) and Chad (Jimmy Bellinger) is a wrench is thrown into their plans. Thanks to Julie's open laptop, Mitchell and Lisa catch wind of their daughters' intent to get deflowered, and they immediately spring into action. Hunter, on the other hand, is less enthusiastic about interfering in Sam's life — after all, he's ordered the kids a limo just to get back into her good graces — but when he realizes she might actually go all the way with Chad, he suddenly becomes very invested in the whole scheme.

In what follows, director Kay Cannon and screenwriters Brian and Jim Kehoe deliver no shortage of gut-busting moments, as the three concerned parents chase their kids all over town, getting into all manner of misadventures along the way, including a "butt-chugging" contest that goes hilariously awry and not one but two awkward encounters with Austin's parents (Gary Cole and Gina Gershon), whose nude blindfold sex games put Mitchell and Hunter in, shall we say, a compromising position. But at the same time, Blockers also manages to deliver a ton of heart as well, and it does so by refusing to reduce its characters to genre caricatures, as well as by making their struggles relatable to viewers.

At its core, the end result is a story about both growing up and letting go that everyone can identify with. And while Blockers doesn't offer any particularly meaningful insight into either topic, it's far more than 90-something minutes of cheap, dumbed down laughs. On the contrary, this wry, sometimes vulgar, but always self-aware comedy has something smart to say about sex, parenthood and even the genre itself.

Blockers releases April 6th, 2018 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of R for crude and sexual content, and language throughout, drug content, teen partying, and some graphic nudity. Its runtime is 1 hr. 42 min.

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