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article imageReview: ‘Blockers’ highlights the absurdity of the double-standard Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Apr 7, 2018 in Entertainment
‘Blockers’ is a hilarious movie about a group of parents so afraid to let their kids grow up, they try to crash their prom.
While technology and social media has widely changed the experience of growing up for young people, it’s also drastically altered how one parents these newly connected adolescents; some have even found how to use their kids’ attachments to their phones to essentially spy on their children. Naturally, an episode on Netflix’s fourth season of Black Mirror bleakly demonstrated how this “always knowing” could backfire. Even though the parents in Blockers don’t purposely track their kids’ online interactions, they become privy to information they’d have never known and entertainingly set out on a mission to intercept their children’s plans.
Julie (Kathryn Newton), Sam (Gideon Adlon) and Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) have been best friends since their first day of school and soon they’ll be heading off to college. But first, they’re going to prom. Julie’s single mom (Leslie Mann) is already experiencing separation anxiety; since her parents divorced, Sam has been giving her dad (Ike Barinholtz) the cold shoulder — but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped trying; and Kayla’s dad (John Cena) isn’t ready for his little girl to grow up… ever. However, when the parents happen upon some messages indicating the girls have made a pact to lose their virginities, they band together to try to keep them from making “the biggest mistake of their lives.”
This could’ve easily been a terrible movie as it had the potential to be too crass, too ridiculous and too long. However, it manages to be all of these things without being excessive. It’s essentially a sex comedy, so there’s unsurprisingly a fair amount of body/nude humour — though from less expected places. The parents embark on an irrational quest to interrupt their kids’ special night, which takes them on a preposterous journey through outlandish sex games and unwise car chases. Yet, at 102 minutes it doesn’t feel like it stretches any one scene too long or tries to get too much mileage out of a single gag. But Pitch Perfect writer-turned-director Kay Cannon puts in just the right amount of everything.
Mann, Barinholtz and Cena work incredibly well together. None of them are exactly the straight character, though Barinholtz is occasionally the unexpected voice of reason. Cena’s been slowly exploring his comedic side in film and this is his first true opportunity to show everyone what he’s got… and he doesn’t disappoint. Playing a man who cries each time his daughter takes another step towards adulthood, Cena is one the picture’s highlights. The girls, in the meantime, hold up their half of the picture equally well. They appear to truly get-along and Viswanathan stands out as a carefree young woman ready for anything. As outrageous as the whole picture is, it’s also wholly enjoyable from start to finish due in no small part to this exceptional cast.
And even though the entire premise of the film is based on an age-old double-standard applied to boys and girls, it does well to acknowledge this — and then promptly ignore it for the narrative’s sake, which in its own way emphasizes the ludicrousness of the opposing expectations for sons vs. daughters.
Director: Kay Cannon
Starring: Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz
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