Bottoms SXSW Review

March 12, 202370/1001186 min
Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri, Ruby Cruz, Dagmara Dominczyk
Written by
Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott
Directed by
Emma Seligman
Run Time
1h 32min
Release Date
Overall Score
Rating Summary

        Every decade I think students deserve their own high school movie, you know the one that is just so relatable for them. The movie that did it for me was The Breakfast Club, which made so many high school kids in the 80’s feel seen, while also giving us a soundtrack to our lives. I am not going to even try and figure out what makes this generation of high school kids feel that way, but if I was that age, I feel like Bottoms would be that movie for me.

PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) are what most would say the bottom of the food chain in high school. This year though feels different, and PJ in particular is ready to get the attention of her crush. Things though don’t go as planned, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. PJ comes up with an idea that she thinks will make her, and Josie popular with the girls of the school. Using a recent assault as a reason, PJ and Josie start a fight club for girls, seeing it as a good way for them to get laid. Right away though things feel different, as bonding begins between not only the girls, but also the teacher (Marshawn Lynch) who has signed off on the club. Soon they are not just beating each other up, or listening to their problems, they even take revenge on one of the girl’s ex’s that gets quite explosive. Part of the appeal of the club comes from lies, that PJ and Josie tell, about being in juvie and the things they had to do while in there. When that lie is exposed, things fall apart quickly, but an event that only comes around every so often, might be enough to bring it all together again.

Bottoms is the second collaboration between writer/director Emma Seligman and star Rachel Sennott, who teamed up with the jewel that is Shiva Baby from 2020. This time not only does Sennott star, but also co-writes the screenplay, which combines both of their unique styles. Bottoms feel like a raunchy version of a teen comedy, but then it starts to lean hard into its strangeness, and taking the film to another level. Part of that uniqueness is Seligman’s ability to take absurdity and heighten it to new levels, like the football team never taking their full uniforms off while in school. It is jokes like that, that make the film feel like it is full of original and vibrant energy and gives the movie a confidence in itself that is hard to come by.

Bottoms  simply just slays when it comes to comedy, as Sennott and Edebiri are a legitimate force of humor every second they are on screen. This movie earns every laugh it gets and fires at a steady pace, not giving you many moments where you are not laughing. Putting this movie in a nutshell, as a girl high school fight club movie, is not wise, as it is really hard to place this movie, as it really needs to be experienced. This is destined to be a voice for a group of people who feel like they don’t have one and a cult classic in the making, but most of all it’s a movie for the now and one you should see with as many people as possible.

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