Blockers

There’s a great running gag about how John Cena’s character always does air quotes incorrectly. I thought of how the title of this movie, with a rooster (ie cock) above the word “Blockers” isn’t exactly accurate usage of that phrase. But it’s probably descriptive enough to let you know what you’re in for. A raunchy sex comedy with girls trying to lose their virginity on prom night, and the parents that get wind of their “sex pact” and try to stop it.

Leslie Mann, who I’ve kind of grown tired of in all these comedies, plays a version of that same character she always plays. In this, she’s the overbearing single mom of Julie (Kathryn Newton). She’s a bit peeved she finds out her daughter’s going to UCLA, instead of staying closer to home. At the start of the movie, we see them doing everything together. Mom doesn’t seem to have many friends. Cena often talks about how he calls her and she never returns the calls or wants to hang out (I’m not quite sure why Cena’s wife, played by Sarayu Rao) isn’t involved in that friendship).

The other parent that’s on the warpath to stop the sex shenanigans of their kids, is the always hysterical Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Snatched [my wife and I still joke about how hysterically he kept calling his mom “mama” in that]). Surprisingly, he’s the voice of reason; well, most of the time. After all, he does convince Cena to engage in a “butt chugging” contest with some partiers. I might not have thought that was even a thing, except for the fact that the same day I saw this movie, was the day I heard about kids snorting condoms as a challenge. So, it’s very likely “butt chugging” is a thing. I’m also guessing that after various chugging contests, it’ll give the kids a whole new use for the “Tide pod challenge.” But I digest.

The three teens all have great chemistry (Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, and Geraldine Viswanathan). And in one of many scenes that shows how this movie has heart, we find out one of the girls willing to lose her virginity, is actually a lesbian. They don’t exploit that character trait for laughs. Instead, we get a funny scene with her attempt at losing her virginity with a nerdy guy (Jimmy Bellinger), and later just being flirtatious with the girl she really pines for.

Hannibal Buress often has small roles in comedies, and he usually steals the scenes. He was the cop in Neighbors, an annoying roommate in Daddy’s Home. In this he’s a stepfather trying to navigate being a stepfather and dealing with a divorced couple that hate each other.

One other cast member of note is Miles Robbins, as one of the “lucky” teenage prom dates. He’s the son of Tim and Susan Sarandon. He’s charming in his role.

Screenwriters Brian and Jim Kehoe do a good job of landing most of their jokes and also delving into how hard it can be to deal with a teenager.

There are some fun set pieces, and jokes that have been done to death, feel fresh here. One of those scenes involve parents trying to figure out what the various emojis mean on some text messages they see on one of the kid’s phones.

Another bit involves a couple in the neighborhood always having weird sex and role playing. Yet it’s done hilariously here.

This follows the usual sex comedy formula, and it gets a little too silly and outrageous. And please, can we stop with the barfing in movies? It’s rarely funny and usually just grosses everyone out.

The film has humor, heart, and a large dose of raunch. And perhaps the best Olive Garden reference ever.

3 stars out of 5.