Directed by Emma Seligman
Written by Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott
Starring: Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Marshawn Lynch


Two best friends decide that this is finally their time to get girls. To this end they form a school Fight Club (under the guise of self defence) and find themselves experiencing unexpected popularity. However as one of them becomes close to the Quarterback’s girlfriend, it brings them into conflict with the football team.

Seems like a pretty standard plot. The thing is both the lead characters are lesbians, and that makes everything about Bottoms very different. It’s gaze isn’t male centric, and those inequalities in power suddenly become indicative of social issues. However Bottoms is first and foremost fantastically funny viewing.

A callback to classic teen comedies of eras past, with the popular nerds versus jocks premise. However Bottoms importantly updates them by introducing equality, representation, and consent. The result is a little rough around the edges, but that’s honestly part of the charm.

Watching the outtakes in the end credits you see the actors searching for the best line. That freeform improvisation allows the actors to convey the characters better, even if that comes at the expense of a tighter narrative. Like the main protagonist themselves, the results are a riot.

Bottoms isn’t afraid to drag its archetypal plot into ridiculously over the top territory. Not only is a lampshading of the genre’s propensity to ratchet up stakes well beyond reasonable levels, but also the teenage psyche of making everything a “life or death” situation. From getting the right pink dress, to winning a skiing competition, to getting laid before the end of the summer – all have been viewed as the ultimate goal in teen romps. Bottoms leans into this, and then maniacally seeks to top it. The thing is…as an audience, you’re already invested in the characters, so you gleefully go along for the ride.

Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri do a fantastic job as the leads. They’re not always likeable (as their selfishness, lies, and self absorption catches up with them), but they are relatable. Sennott scheming motor mouthed geek pairs perfectly with Edebiri’s shy introvert with hidden depths.

This is a cute and anarchic slice of comedy that’s far sharper than it has any right to be. There’s a roughness and energy that could easily make Bottoms a cult classic. Gay as hell, and horny to boot, yet absolutely hilarious.

DAVID O’CONNELL


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