It’s a formula as old as time. Well, maybe not time exactly, but at least as old as Porky’s: A group of high-school best friends makes a pact to lose their virginity on prom night (or before graduation…or on spring break). Gross-out gags, blackout drunkenness, and hormone-addled mayhem ensue.
At this point, you’d think there wouldn’t be anything left to say in this wheezy genre, but you’d be wrong. Because Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon’s directorial debut turns this tired trope 180 degrees to focus not only on a trio of young women gunning to get laid, but on their overprotective mothers and fathers as well. It’s a modest adjustment to be sure, but in the hilarious new comedy Blockers, it pays off big time.
The title is a sanitized, shorthand version of “c— blockers”, which describes the clingy, codependent parents (played by John Cena, Leslie Mann, and Ike Barinholtz) who’ll stop at nothing to prevent their daughters (Geraldine Viswanathan, Kathryn Newton, and Gideon Adlon) from getting freaky on prom night. Even if that means butt-chugging a 40-ounce beer.
Like the American Pie movies and Superbad, Blockers is deep-down a pretty conservative film (it turns out these women take their first time just as seriously as their parents would want them to), but it cloaks that message in an outrageous, non-stop barrage of dick jokes, binge drinking, and arias of projectile vomit. Sure, showing that girls can be as horny and impulsive and raunchy as guys isn’t exactly the most radical statement. But when it’s done this well, it certainly is a welcome change-up. A-