By: Ethan Nhek
When Rachel Sennott, who co-wrote the film, first announced its release in February, it felt like it would have to do something with the “gay interpretation” of this word. However, Emma Seligman, director and co-writer of the film, showed the audience it was nothing about positions but about the totem pole.
PJ (Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) are two long-time best friends known as the least popular and least talented gays in their high school. To put that title to rest, they decided to start a fight club to win some popularity points and win the hearts of the two most popular girls. And that’s all everyone needs to know, as this film is captivating from start to finish, with no bathroom breaks.
This film is another excellent addition to the unserious film society needs, just like the summer film, “No Hard Feelings” (both films are reminiscent of the 2000’s slapstick comedies). While many jokes fly at the audience at once, most land as they just keep going to the next joke. What helps is the line delivery, especially from PJ’s character when she says, “Yes, Hazel, let’s just do terrorism,” is one memorable line when seen in context, of course.
However, something surprising about this film is how violent and bloody it got. Yes, the words “fight club” are in the movie’s synopsis. What I mean by this is when it got bloody, it GOT BLOODY. For example, there’s a scene where Harvey is getting beaten senseless, and it just keeps going. While it’s not a horror movie, it was surprisingly gory for a high school comedy.
An underrated factor of the film is Isabel’s (Havana Rose Liu) outfits throughout the movie, as she constantly has the best styling. But Nicholas Galitzine’s character is hilarious, as it was funny to see him in this sort of role as this man-child compared to his previous film, “Red, White, & Royal Blue.”
A unique casting choice that was surprising is that Marshawn Lynch, former NFL running back, was cast as the clueless teacher/supervisor for the fight club. Fun fact: he used to play for the NFL for 12 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Though it was unexpected, he seemed so natural in this film as if he were in his element.
While this film falls victim to typical high school comedy cliches, it pulls itself together with creative jokes as the audience genuinely laughs at most of them. And Rachel Sennott is a comedy gold once again as she was the shining star of last year’s comedy/thriller, “Bodies Bodies Bodies.” Ultimately, this film proves she’s runner-up to be the next comedy film queen with this winning streak.
The most lovely thing about this film was how passionate everyone was, even Kaia Gerber, as she’s definitely improved with her minimal lines after watching her star in Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, “American Horror Stories.” While there may be flaws, it’s always tricky to nail a satirical comedy like this, but it’s bound to warm the hearts of LGBTQ+ members. Even though at times it is unrealistic, especially the film’s third act, I would say it’s still worth a watch since it’s one hour and thirty mins of pure, unadulterated fun.
“Bottoms” is currently in theaters and can be rented on streaming services for $14.99!