Review by E23 Writer Michael Donelan

The new film “Blockers” is hilarious, filthy, heartwarming and one of the best comedies in recent years.

On the day of their senior prom, longtime best friends Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon) make a pact that after the dance they will lose their virginities to their dates. After learning of their plans, Sam’s mom Lisa (Leslie Mann), Kayla’s dad Mitchell (John Cena) and Sam’s dad Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) go out to do whatever they can to block their daughters from making any mistakes.

“Blockers” is sure to become a new classic high school film alongside “American Pie” and “Superbad,” and it definitely deserves it. There were several times throughout the movie where the rest of the theater and I were crying laughing. I was pleasantly surprised by the comedic performance of John Cena. He has some of the funniest and raunchiest scenes in the movie and one in particular, involving a chugging contest between him and a high schooler, had the audience howling with laughter.

“Blockers” is extremely raunchy and hilariously filthy at times. Since the film revolves around three girls trying to lose their virginities, many of the jokes are about or related to sex. For example, when the parents are going through their daughters’ group chat, they have to decode the meanings of infamous emojis like the eggplant or the cherry, and this is probably the tamest scene. The humor extends beyond crude sex jokes though, as the performances of Cena, Mann and Barinholtz really give the film a great amount of charm.

Not only was the film extremely funny, but by centering it on women it is able to explore many gender-related themes such as “Why is it ok for men to lose their virginities, but bad for girls to do the same thing?” Rarely are films released where girls are the ones who are in control of their sexuality; most of the time it is men who are depicted as wanting it. The girls at the center of this movie are determined to lose their virginities and through this process, they learn many things about themselves and each other. The film spends a great deal of time focusing on the mother/daughter relationship between Sam and Lisa, as Lisa is a single mother struggling with the idea of Sam going off to school far away. I found it very interesting that the movie spent so much time focusing on these issues of gender and sexuality. One of the central story arcs of “Blockers” involves the character of Sam coming to terms with her own sexuality, and her father Hunter doing everything in his power to make sure she is happy with who she is with.

I would definitely recommend “Blockers” as a good movie to go see with a group of friends or if one is looking for a good time at the movies. Just know that in-between the laughs there are some very touching moments too.

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