Critics' Pick

Blockers (R)

Comedy 102 min. April 6, 2018
By Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Kay Cannon's Blockers proves that a 2018 sex comedy can still be shocking and hilarious while checking off all the woke boxes. It smartly confronts the gendered double standards that have littered the genre for generations, as well as homophobia and other vehicles for predictable jokes. But that doesn't mean it will pass up the chance to butt-chug and projectile vomit with the rest of them.

At one point in the film's long wild night, Mitchell (John Cena) finds himself butt-chugging beer from a keg in an effort to — deep breath — stop his daughter Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) from losing her virginity to a man-bunned hipster teen nicknamed "The Chef" because he's known for baking goods laced with THC. Mitchell has joined on this mission by fellow "blockers" (that's cock blockers, if you missed the conspicuous rooster on the poster): single mom Lisa (Leslie Mann), the clingy mother of blonde beauty Julie (Kathryn Newton); and absentee father Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), who's blase about teen sex until he realizes that his closeted gay daughter Sam (Gideon Adlon) has hesitatingly agreed to lose her virginity to a boy. Hence the aforementioned butt-chugging, in order to infiltrate a prom after-party where the parents suspect their daughters may be entering bone zone.

Lose-your-virginity comedies are nothing new, but the American Pies of the world usually show thorny teen boys' efforts as some holy quest. But these parents race to cock-block their daughters' cherry-poppin' pact like they're on a mission to stop the apocalypse. That's an obvious double standard here, which one character points out. But Cannon's film always lets the girls call their own shots, on their own terms.
Kay Cannon Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon Jon Hurwitz, Brian Kehoe Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Chris Fenton Universal Pictures

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