Three cheers for Blockers, a sex positive comedy

City Press Movie Review

Movie: Blockers

Director: Kay Cannon

Starring: John Cena, Leslie Mann

Rating: 4 stars

Double standards around sex are perhaps nowhere more abundant than when it comes to teenagers. While teen boys are encouraged to “be men and spread their seed”, teenage girls must be demure and modest and stay at home, safely guarded by dad with a shotgun at the front door.

At the same time, they’re bombarded with imagery telling them to be as sexy as possible. It’s that frustrating thin line – be sexy, but not too sexy; be available, but not too available. It’s an agonising situation.
Now in my 30s, I still feel traumatised when I look back at my teenage years.

Riding on the wave of slapstick comedy that puts feminism at the forefront (Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising comes to mind) is Blockers.

Starring comedy heavyweights Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz, the premise could be described as some parents’ worst nightmare: their three daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity at their school prom.

Mortified, the parental trio set out to stop this from happening.

What makes Blockers work is that, underneath the body comedy and gross-out slapstick, is a much needed message about female sexuality – that teen girls (yes, even your teenage daughter) are sexual beings just as much as boys are.

It’s no wonder that this film has a female-centric message – it was made by director Kay Cannon, the same woman who wrote Pitch Perfect.

Incidently, stoner comic Seth Rogen has been spearheading feminist slapstick by starring in Sorority Rising and producing Blockers.

However, it should be noted that this film isn’t for everyone, and the lewd gags and crass humour might freak many people out.

Michael Heaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote: “This movie has been described as ‘sex positive’ because it champions the girls’ rights when it comes to determining their own sex lives. But all it does is prove that girls can have crude and lewd sex comedies just as much as the boys do.”

That’s certainly valid criticism.

Have we fought so hard as feminists for the right to be as gross as men can be?

Read: Is the new wave of female body comedy feminist or just gross?

However you see it, Blockers is a welcome addition to the teen sex comedy genre, and a far cry from the days of American Pie and Varsity Blues.

Check it out.