By Tracy Wang
A sex comedy film on a trio of parents trying to stop their daughters from losing their virginities on prom night, ‘Blockers’ is brought alive by a set of wonderful cast members, and a story that focuses on three young and independent women, who are ready to take matters into their own hands.
Kayla, Julie and Sam have been best friends since kindergarten, and their parents, Lisa, Mitchell and Hunter, become friends because of their daughters’ friendship. Years go by, and their prom night is right around the corner. With a steady boyfriend, Julie announces that she is going to lose her virginity on prom night during lunch time. Though shocked and without boyfriends, Kayla soon agrees, and seems to randomly choose a boy in the cafeteria.
As prom night dawns, and the girls all get dressed, the trio of parents all have an array of emotions running wild. Lisa (Leslie Mann), the single mother who is used to doing everything with Julie, begins to feel anxious for the future where she is to live alone when Julie goes to college. Hunter (Isaac Barinholtz), Sam’s father who has disappeared mostly from her life after he cheated Sam’s mother, is ready to rebuild a relationship with her daughter, but ends up behaving inappropriately in front of her. Mitchell (John Cena), Kayla’s father who devotes everything to her daughter, is not ready for her baby girl to grow up, and fly away.
As the girls leave home in a limo, the three of them are left with some emoji messages on Julie’s laptop. Trying to decipher the meaning behind those emojis, Hunter soon announces that the girls are having a pact in which they will have sex on prom night. Determined to save their girls from making a mistake, Mitchell and Lisa decide to embark on a journey to block those boys from their girls. Thus, a journey of laughter begins, and we see a trio of parents willing to do anything to save their daughters from making the mistake of their lives.
‘Blockers’, potentially one of the funniest movies of the year, takes us on a witty and yet heartwarming journey with its wonderful cast. The highlight rests on Leslie Mann, who is all too ready to catch us at the most hilarious timing, and leaves us giggling long after that moment has passed. What’s more, her witty performance is flavored wonderfully with so much humanity, which leaves us smiling but ultimately remembers more of how much love and support she has for her daughter.
Along with Mann, we have two other parents played wittily by Barinholtz and Cena. A dad who is overly emotional, and a dad who is in need of regaining his daughter’s love, they both jump right into the characters, and give us two dads who are real and honest. However, other than the top performances by the trio of parents, the three young women (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon) tackle the roles of joyful and independent young women with fierceness and grace.
Interestingly, the three young women assume even more independent and at times mature roles than their trio of parents. No longer dwelling on the usual teenage sex comedy or romance where a boy chases after a girl, ‘Blockers’ wittily gives us three young girls who know what they want, and are ready to take whatever they want. With the popular culture associating a woman losing her virginity as losing her innocence, we finally get another film that is not focused on girls or women concerning about losing their innocence; instead, we have these three vibrant young women seeing sex and losing their virginities as just acts or something they would love to try and get rid of.
In this film, the parents seem to be the ones who are overly-dramatic and concerned about the societal stereotypes. As the ones who want to prevent their girls from losing their virginities, they assume less significance than we thought, when all three girls take things into their own hands, and decide to have sex or not on their own, even before the three of them barge into their hotel rooms.
Even though the parents are not that significant in influencing their girls’ decisions, the film’s focus on their journey of seeing their daughters grow into young women, and ready to leave home is a much-needed section of life we need to have represented in films and discussions. A film on three parents trying hard to still have their girls relying on them, ‘Blockers’ is in truth a film that showcases what it is like for parents to make mistakes and to watch their kids grow up, and what it is like for teenage girls to understand what they want and to not be afraid of saying and doing what they desire.