There is absolutely nothing more important to me as a critic than authenticity. Even if it is unpopular I will always tell you what I think about a film and do my best to explain why. Usually even if I don’t enjoy a film I can usually understand why it is working for some people and what the general appeal might be. However, occasionally I find myself on the outside of a phenomenon scratching my head and wondering what I missed that most everyone else seems to be loving in a project. Such has been my experience with the latest raunchy comedy Bottoms. This has been the summer for raunchy comedies and some I have enjoyed (Joy Ride) and others were not for me (Strays.) But with Bottoms I left truly befuddled at the appeal of this very strange movie. I suppose the appeal is the strangeness but not only did I not laugh much I didn’t even see where jokes were attempted?
I take that back. The big joke of the movie seems to be teen girls punching each other and I guess that’s hilarious? I’m confused. The film is about girls starting a fight club with the 2 leaders hoping it will help them meet girls to date and be with. That’s a fine premise but I suppose I don’t think people punching each other- girls or boys- to be all that funny? I admit I am in the vast minority here so fair enough…
The only part of the movie I found funny was surprisingly from former football player Marshawn Lynch playing the girls teacher Mr G. He actually had funny dialogue and delivered it quite well. Nicolas Galitzine also has a good time mugging it up for the camera as the cocky football player Jeff. Again he actually had some amusing scenes and dialogue. Most of the other characters it was them being mean to each other with very little witty banter or funny situations (unless you find girls punching each other inherently funny which I don’t.)
I guess I give the film a little credit for not shying away from the violence. We see blood and many a broken nose as a result of these fights. It could have actually been a compelling horror movie without many changes.
I’m sincerely glad so many are enjoying Bottoms. I am always happy when anyone enjoys films especially when it profiles a group like lesbian teenagers who could use more varied and interesting narratives than only the coming out variety. However, in the end I have to be honest when I just don’t get a film. This one was simply not on my wavelength and it certainly didn’t make me laugh. Your mileage may vary so if you see it I hope you have a better time than I did.
5 out of 10
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