blockers_ver2_xlgDirected by Kay Cannon who was the screenwriter for the Pitch Perfect movie franchise, Blockers is a surprisingly sentimental and intelligent comedy that otherwise follows in the same vein of a vulgar teenage comedy about sex. The story involves three parents who try to prevent their three high school daughters from entering a sex pact to lose their virginity on their prom night. The group of girls have been longtime friends ever since they started elementary school and feel that they must have sex before college in order to be seen as adults. Unlike most teenage comedies in which a group of young men lust after beautiful coeds, the film focuses on the intention of the female protagonists to explore their own sexuality and therefore objectifies women to a lesser degree. Furthermore, much of the plot is about the parents: the single and overprotective mother Lisa, played by Judd Apatow-favorite Leslie Mann; the muscular and emotional father Mitchell, played by former pro wrestler John Cena; and the carefree yet absent father Hunter, played by Ike Barinholtz best known for 2014’s comedy Neighbors. After they hear that their daughters are not so innocent as they hoped, the heavily involved parents Lisa and Mitchell panic and decide to follow the girls on prom night to prevent them from having sex. Only later does the more lackadaisical Hunter join in on the hilarity that ensues as they embark on their ridiculous adventure to stop teenagers from being teenagers. Yes, the movie is filled with some rather inappropriate moments that are typically found in R-rated sex comedies, but the writing allows for the characters to be more fully developed and thereby humanize the process of entering adulthood. At the end, the parents learn their lesson to not be so obsessively protective of their children and instead engage in realistic heart-to-heart discussions about growing up and exploring one’s sexuality. Overall, I found it to be one of the funniest films of the year while at the same time astonishing me for taking a different and more feminine approach to the stereotypical vulgar comedy; underneath all the silliness, the story has a heartfelt message about modern-day parenting.

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