Chad Reviews "Blockers"
There are a handful of things in this world that are an absolute constant: water will always be wet, poker will always be boring to watch on television, and there will always be a place in film for the teen-sex comedy. It almost seems like an inappropriate genre at this day and age, but most of us grew up watching them on cable when our parents first had it installed back in the 80s. From “Porky’s” up through “Superbad,” it has (for better or worse) been a staple of American cinema which has primarily just been an excuse for adolescent guys to ogle at some bubbleheaded models attempting to break into the movie business using whatever “assets” they have available to them. Regardless, this sub-genre is still with us, but the paradigm has shifted considerably with “Blockers”. This new film by writer of the “Pitch Perfect” films Kay Cannon in her directorial debut, it puts ladies in the role traditionally reserved for guys as the hormonally driven teens determined to lose their virginity on prom night. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Weeeellll…
Lisa (Leslie Mann), Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), and Mitchell (John Cena) are the proud parents of Julie (Kathryn Newton) Sam (Gideon Adlon) and Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) respectively that throw themselves into a complete and total panic when they discover that their daughters have made a pact to all collectively lose their virginity the night of their senior prom. Whether to escape their parent’s looming shadows or just attempting to establish their own identities before they step into the cold cruel world of early adulthood, the girls attempt to sample every vice imaginable while their parents stumble and fumble their way through the night, haplessly trying to thwart their daughters from making the same mistakes they made at their age, or possibly worse.
I was fully prepared to not like this film, as this genre tends to be very played out and incredibly formulaic. Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing harder than I’ve laughed with a film in a LONG time, and feeling surprisingly touched as I watched these parents struggling with watching their kids grow up and leave the nest before they’re ready to watch them move on. Leslie Mann still seems to be content to play the blubbering motor mouth she’s played several times before, but the real standout here for me was John Cena, who really has some great comic timing and can carry his own weight exceptionally well. I really think when he decides to leave the world of pro wrestling behind, he has a great future in front of him as an actor, comedic or otherwise. I enjoyed this film immensely and would highly recommend it to anybody that’s ever been on either side of the situation of the storyline here. You’ve either been the kid worried about getting caught, or the parent hoping you wouldn’t have to worry about catching them doing something they would regret. Either way, it’s entertaining to watch, and a very unique take on an old formula.