Blockers (Spoiler-Free Review)
Directed by: Kay Cannon
Written by: Brian Kehoe, Jim Kehoe
Starring: Katheryn Newton, John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Graham Phillips, Colton Dunn, Geraldine Viswananthan
(Blockers just had its premiere at Austin’s own SXSW and GWW was in attendance to chat with some of the stars of the film. Check that out here.)
In Blockers three high-schoolers make a pact to lose their virginity on Prom night. When their parents discover their plans, they band together to stop them.
Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla, (Geraldine Viswanathan), and Sam (Gideon Adlon) have been friends since elementary school, which means their parents have been in each other’s lives for just as long, even if unwanted. Julie is the daughter of single mother Lisa (Leslie Mann). Lisa’s entire life has revolved around her child and is in denial of the fact that her daughter will be leaving for college soon. The athlete of the group, Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), has to deal with her overprotective, beefy yet softhearted father (John Cena), who one can go from anger to sadness in a matter of seconds. Meanwhile, Sam (Gideon Adlon) is a bit of an introverted whose pathetic-at-times father (Ike Barinholtz) has been in and out of her life since he divorced her mother and yet all he wants is for her the greatest night of her life.
This film could fall into the category of other comedic films such as Superbad and Old School, yet with Kay Cannon’s guidance, Blockers manages to provide a fresh take by putting the women in the driver’s seat for a change. It manages to take a common formula and still transform it into something new as these three high-school girls navigate through their journey to have sex on prom night. Everyone in the film had their fair share of moments to shine, however, it was the three girls who actually upstaged the parents in this adult comedy, especially newcomer Geraldine Viswanathan who is the wild card of the group. While this is a film about three teenagers going through with their #sexpact, it’s actually the adults who manage to get themselves into far more heinous acts along the way, between the uncomfortable situations and the on-par physical comedy brought by John Cena and comedic genius Leslie Mann. The overprotective, paranoid-filled parents continuously manage to hit road block after road block as they try to “block” their daughter’s plans. Meanwhile, their daughters face a few obstacles on their own as they simply seek to celebrate their freedom.
This film does a perfect job balancing the perspectives of the adults and their children. My only complaint is not having enough time with each of the parent-child relationships. Viewers are briefly sped through their lives in the first 5 minutes of the film up until present day.
I will note that I did see the premiere for this film in a packed Paramount Theater during SXSW, so I did find a couple of moments where the outbursts of laughter from the crowd cause me to miss a few one-liners from Ike Barinholtz. This probably would have been a perfect moment for captions. Even with that said, the film was overall splendid. Kay Cannon, who makes her directorial debut, is a home-run with Blockers. If you thought seeing John Cena “chug” beer through a beer bong trailer was funny, that was just the beginning for this hilarious raunchy comedy for the ages.
“Blockers” opens in theaters on April 6.