Blockers – Movie Review – A hilarious, yet heartfelt coming of age comedy.

Blockers tells the story of three parents portrayed by Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena, who all try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night.

I’m going to waste no time and say that this film is great fun. I throughly enjoyed the time I spent watching it. The narrative is fairly basic as you’d expect but that’s partially what makes it work so well. The film explores parenthood and the difficulty some parents face when it’s time for their children to enter adolescence and adulthood. It explores this topic in a very graceful and touching way, and to my surprise the story also explores homosexuality through the development of one of the teenage girls. I was impressed at how effective the exploration of these themes were, it never once detracted from the fun and comedy of the film. But it also never felt heavy handed and it always felt organic. The whole film captures the teenage experience in a wonderful way.

The entire cast was a pleasure to watch, they all had great chemistry and the script balances them all very well so that each actor got multiple moments to shine comedically. Starting with the cast of adults, Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz all displayed their comedic strengths, whilst still sprinkling in a level of believability which made you feel empathy towards them as parents. Their performances whilst very vibrant during the moments of comedy, still remained grounded in a dramatic sense and I’m sure many parents will relate to the concerns they share with each other. Each parent is struggling with a different factor of parenthood. Leslie’s character Lisa is the type of mother who is so attached to her daughter that she never wants her to leave, so when the prospect of her daughter moving away from home for college pops up,  She struggles to accept that she’s growing up. As for John’s character Mitchell, he is a very overly protective father, who doesn’t like the idea of any male getting too close to his daughter. John’s physically imposing body is played for laughs, in contrast with the fact that he is very soft and emotional inside. Then there’s Ike’s character Hunter who is the seemingly deadbeat Dad who hasn’t been present throughout the whole of his daughters life. These unique character beats helped flesh out the parents in a way which I didn’t think this film would attempt to achieve.

The cast of teenagers were great, especially the three daughters portrayed by Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon and Geraldine Viswanathan. Their chemistry was spot on, after their first scene together I instantly bought into the fact that these girls had been best friends for a long time. Their interactions and performances felt like a realistic portrayal of how certain teenagers act and speak nowadays. Sometimes films of this nature fail at capturing the essence of how teenagers are, but I have to give credit to the script and the actors because they nailed it. I particularly want to highlight and praise Gideon Adlon’s portrayal of Sam. Through out the film we see her confronting her sexuality, as she tries to tries to find the best way possible to try and make the closest people around her, aware that she is homosexual. Gideon was simply fantastic in the role, her performance was very unstated and she really managed to strike a chord with me, there were moments in this film where I felt rather emotional due to what was occurring with her character. This to me is a shinning example of how to handle homosexuality in films, treat it like it’s normal and don’t exaggerate it for the sake of it.

I only have a few minor gripes with this film. I think it’s a little too long, as it was reaching it’s climax I felt the story hit all the notes it needed to hit therefore it could’ve ended a little sooner. My next issue is with the editing, it was choppy in a number of different scenes. The shots didn’t always flow that well. Just to give an example you’d have a scene with a character in a certain position or looking a certain way, and then in the very next shot they’d be positioned differently. It’s something many films end up doing, but it caught my attention and was far more noticeable in this film.

Overall, Blockers is great fun. It’s consistently funny and the cast were a joy to watch. It was also surprisingly touching in ways which I did not expect. It’s a funny coming of age comedy, with some heartfelt messages about parenting and sexuality.

★★★★

(4 Stars out of 5)

T.Graham.

Blockers –  Starring Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon.

Directed by Kay Cannon.

Now showing in cinemas.

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