It’s always concerning when an older person starts making an observation about “millennials”. This is a movie by a bunch of older people that’s mostly about young folk and it has a lot of that same sort of unfortunate cringe. Even the trailer centres on a teen conversation told entirely in emojis that nobody has ever had ever, but maybe some grandpa thinks is how these danged millennials communicate.
But for all Blockers gets wrong, it gets quite a lot right, too. It’s refreshing to have a teen sex comedy about girls trying to lose their virginity, rather than boys. It’d be nicer still to have it more from their perspective rather than their parents’, but it’s tough to complain when there’s this diverse a group of central female characters in any Hollywood production.
Crucially, a lot of the gags hit well. It’s not a laugh riot – the gross-outs and dick jokes are pretty average – but there’s a lot of heart in the clearly defined characters that pays off with what feels like organic humour.
The obligatory third act drama is where things go really bad, as Blockers yanks at the heartstrings with all the subtlety of a drunk, horny teen on prom night. That foolish earnestness almost undoes the great work the film accomplished by not morally judging teen girls for wanting to drink booze, take drugs and f-ck. And it’s a really big ask to expect us to cry over mended parent-daughter relationships when only a few scenes earlier John Cena was shooting beer out of his butt into another man’s mouth.
Still, there’s enough originality and decent jokes in Blockers to recommend it to fans of the genre. It’s a promising directorial debut from Kay Cannon and I look forward to what she does next.
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