When I saw the preview for Blockers, I had three immediate concerns: The message seemed a bit misogynistic, the all-star cast seemed too good to be true and the funniest bits might be wasted on the commercial.
The movie is about three girls — high school seniors — who have a “sex pact” on the night of their prom. Some of the parents find out about it by snooping through their texts; they then make it their mission to stop their daughters by any means.
My concerns were definitely squashed when I saw the film. Any misogyny in the message was confronted and challenged, the cast worked perfectly and the humor extended far beyond the marketed punchlines.
Blockers has its cliché moments, but it combats those with hilarious and meaningful moments of connection.
The girls and their parents are all facing unique struggles. Julie, Kayla and Sam (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon) are all trying to grow before they go off to college through trying new things and discovering their sexuality. Their parents, Lisa, Mitchell and Hunter (Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz) are insecure about their role in their children’s lives — and their relationships with them.
Along the two separate quests, everyone involved goes to great lengths to achieve their goals. Post-prom antics ensue on the girls’ behalf, full of drunken vomiting and questionable drug intake. The parents relentlessly search for the afterparty, engaging in some breaking and entering — and some butt-chugging — in their quest to locate it.
The actors truly did a great job with their roles. The younger stars gave their high school-aged characters a substantial amount of depth. The older stars weren’t unrealistically out of touch, and John Cena was actually a believable suburban dad.
The characters experience major growth by the end of the film. The girls’ initial haste to lose their virginities comes to fruition only for … just kidding, no spoilers. But rest assured, all of them make meaningful, well-thought decisions. The frustration and fear of the parents turns into patience and understanding about their kids’ coming-of-age moments.
The writers deserve credit for combating misogynistic undertones. The teenagers-can’t-responsibly-navigate-their-own-sexuality trope is shut down by numerous voices of reason. Kayla’s mom Marcie (Sarayu Blue) confronts Mitchell about letting their daughter make her own choices, and Kayla herself asks at one point, “Why is sex even bad?”
The film navigates an important topic without forcing an idea or agenda. The girls each make their own choices for their own reasons — and learn things about themselves along the way.
The movie shows the importance of strong, long-lasting friendships and having a good support system. The friendships are admirable, and the characters hold themselves accountable for a number of indiscretions.
Even though Blockers was rated R, limiting a potential high school audience, it shows just how important it is to understand consent and the emotions involved with sex before you engage in it. The journey the girls take as they understand sex isn’t something to rush, force or fake is the best part of the movie.