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Liam’s Hit O’ Miss List: “Blockers”

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When I first saw the trailer for “Blockers” back in December, I thought “Oh no, this is just gonna be another lazy, sleazy comedy that carries no real depth or actual humor behind it.” The opening scene changed my mind.

The film follows three high school seniors all looking to lose their virginities on the night of their prom while each of their parents try to stop them. Julie (Kathryn Newton) is the confident young blonde leader of the group who initiates the plans for one “awesome night” with her boyfriend, Austin (Graham Phillips). Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon), two of Julie’s best friends, reluctantly follow along. Kayla, the sassy, attitude-adjustment chick, whose father is the over-bearing but confiding Mitchell (terrifically portrayed by John Cena), makes an impulse decision to go with the ambitious “Walter White” of their graduating class, Connor (Miles Robbins).

Everyone in the cast has a moment in the spotlight, from the subtle and obsolete limo driver to each of the three main girls. Julie, Sam and Kayla all work so well when they are together and developed great chemistry. Their acting was so convincing that I began to believe their on screen friendship translated to real life. It was also really intriguing that almost every character was spun on their head: the kids were the ones who seemed to make more sense to the audience, while the parents chased their children due to personal fears.

Every single girl has her stand-out moment full of laughs, but story truly lies with the parents.

Rather than being just another comedic wannabe (like Tammy or The Heat, where it felt you’re forced to laugh), “Blockers” takes a raunchy twist into R-rated humor fun for anyone (17 and older). In many comedies, there is often that one actor or actress who tries to be too ridiculous with their scenes; however, in Kay Cannon’s “Blockers,” that is never the case. While I expected comedian divorcee Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) to be the push-over of the group, always trying to make you laugh, each parent shined in their roles. In fact, the great chemistry between them is what made each joke funnier as the night went on.

While a majority of the credit does belong with the star-studded cast, Kay Cannon should be the one taking home the props. Not only was this her directorial debut, but better yet, it was a comedy (one of the hardest movies to pull off). She knew exactly how to direct a scene, how long to hold a cue and how to make sure everything fit just perfectly. I can’t wait to see where she lands next.

None of the big comedic jokes should be spoiled, but even if the audience were to know the jokes ahead of time, they are going to feel all the gigs and humor that make “Blockers” deserve a rewatch.

The thing that many millennials and adults will love about this movie is that, for all the raunchy jokes, the writers are taking a serious look at a delicate, and often difficult, subject for teens and their parents. The three young women at the center of the comedy have their own individual problems and viewpoints concerning their virginity — viewpoints that are portrayed with honesty and humor. Instead of looking at sex as “evil” itself, these parents are trying to prevent a loss of the “parent-child” ties and bonds that held them together. Even better, Cannon sets out this whole movie in the one night that it all happens, sending all the parents on a wild-goose chase with their over-the-top comedic chops that will have audiences out of their seats.

There was so much to enjoy in “Blockers” — more than I would have expected from the first go around. It’s a film that had me bellyaching from the very beginning up until the last joke, and one that sets a high score for other comedies to beat in years to come. An “American Pie” meets “Neighbors” comedy, “Blockers” is worth a supreme 9/10.

“Blockers” is an R-rated movie restricted to viewers ages 17 and older without a parent.

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Liam’s Hit O’ Miss List: “Blockers”