Directed By Emma Seligman

Starring – Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Ruby Cruz

The Plot – Focuses on two girls, PJ (Sennott) and Josie (Edebiri), who start a fight club as a way to lose their virginities to cheerleaders. Their bizarre plan works. The fight club gains traction and soon the most popular girls in school are beating each other up in the name of self-defense. But PJ and Josie find themselves in over their heads and in need of a way out before their plan is exposed.

Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language and some violence

BOTTOMS | Official Red Band Trailer – YouTube


There’s a candidly unashamed familiarity to the plot of “Bottoms” that is made all the more refreshing with Seligman and Sennott’s distinct brand of surreal humor, which not only spoofs teenage sex movies through an LGBTQ vantage point that is cleverly executed into a balance of effective visual and dialogue gags, but also fleshing out a uniquely biting world that strangely doesn’t feel far from our own. Seligman’s ambitious follow up to her 2020 breakout hit “Shiva Baby” is chock full of fearlessly R-rated material in everything from rape culture to even terrorism, which feels especially refreshing from in a contemporary comedy, where the tight rope of reality often finds films like these being cancelled by the dozen. Beyond no topic of teenage reality being off limit, the editing perfectly slices these abruptly effective deliveries that continuously push the gag one scene further, leading to several deep-winded laughs as result, but beyond that the direction of Seligman once more supplants her as the most valuable player of production, with an exaggerated emphasis to the proceedings commanded by most of her supporting characters, a bitchin’ soundtrack including Avril Lavigne and Bonnie Tyler, to name a few, and of course this three-dimensional high school in setting, which always includes background activities held in contrast to some razor sharp and naturally delivered dialogue from a picture perfect ensemble. Among those decorated players are Sennott, Edebiri, and several scene-stealing instances from former NFL player-turned-actor Marshawn Lynch, whom I simply couldn’t get enough of. Obviously, Sennott and Edebiri command a majority of the narrative as our main characters, complimented remarkably by Sennott’s stern sensibilities and Edebiri’s long-winded diatribes about campus ironies, but all of the female characters are thoroughly fleshed out in ways that gets us to know each of them within the brief 87 minute run time, where most of them continue long-term gags that never overstayed their welcome or grew tedious by the ways they were continuously re-introduced into the depths of the unraveling narrative. Last but certainly not least, though a majority of the script dedicates itself to silly humor almost unanimously, the material itself doesn’t sacrifice some endearing observations about gay perception in the eyes of their naive counterparts. While it’s certainly easy to mistake this for another in the laundry list of Seligman and Sennott’s laughable exploits, the film actually reveals several fascinating hypocracies about gay and straight expressionism in the public eye, which only adds to the attitudes of its gay characters. This makes the film smart, but especially sincere in the particular talking points it chooses to pursue, cementing this as a completely well-rounded script that educates just as much as it entertains.


As to where the first two acts remain refreshingly consistent to the dominance of its comedic tone and springing originality, the third act reverts a bit towards conventional, especially in the typical late movie breakup that has the girls examining their priorities and actions, which feels like it compromised the preconceived designs of their characterization. While it’s nothing terribly traumatic to the inspiration of the project, it’s during these moments when the momentum of its entertainment factor feels like it grinds to a screeching halt, creating a prolonged manufactured conflict to the characters that abruptly comes out of nowhere, especially since the resolutions from the ladies feel like they’re rushed because of the aforementioned 87 minute run time. Beyond this, my only other issue with the film came in the lack of consistency of the make-up schemes given to the girls, which appeared and disappeared frequently between scenes that are day to day. Now, I can understand that this could certainly contribute to the scale of the surreal, with moments happening so spontaneously that you can’t help but laugh, but considering the fight club plays such a vital visual cue to the way the girls only attain popularity once they’ve outlined themselves as victims of violence, it’s something that I wish would’ve maintained a constant emphasis towards their physical appearances, especially since their altered appearances could’ve crafted a physical transformation that mirrors their emotional ones.

“Bottoms” might prove to be too loudly obnoxious for some annoyed audiences, but its refreshing spin on the age’s old formula of teen sex comedies goes a long way in cementing its endearing essence, with plenty of laughs that makes it my favorite comedy of the year. As a team, Seligman and Sennott prove once more to be a dynamic duo, taking the everyday realities of the LGBTQ populace, and fleshing them out in a surreal spectacle that never grows old in the catastrophic chaos that define their estrogen-exaggerated experience, crafting a “Heathers” for the current generation.

My Grade: 8/10 or B+

3 thoughts on “Bottoms

  1. I’ll be seeing this one tonight, but your review along with the very positive reactions has me really excited for this one. This one above any other recent comedy sounds like it is fully embracing being an unfiltered comedy which is saying a lot when compared to some other recent ones from this year. But between the refreshing spoof on teenage sex movies and the confident direction of Seligman who already impressed me with Shiva Baby, I have a good feeling I’m in for something special. Excellent review!

  2. I came into this review with pretty low expectations and a preconceived notion that I’ll know this story all too well. Welp that was incorrect. This is one of those reasons why you come to read the unbiased reviews of The Film Freak. You gave it a nice rounded description and painted a good picture of what to expect while watching the film. I’ll be adding this to my ever growing list of movies to eventually checkout.

  3. This sounds amazing! It is refreshing to see a new spin on the teenage comedy, and I love the fight club aspect of it! I’m sure that it has some familiar aspects, but it seems like the characters are having a great time, and this is one that I will definitely check out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *