Bottoms - Shiva Babies start a high school fight club

Just got back from watching this with my college-age daughter and we had a blast. The previous film from Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennot was Shiva Baby, a hotbox of social horror. This is lighter and more surreal–a punk-rock Mean Girls.

I didn’t realize that Sennot and Ayo Edebiri (a star of the best show on tv, The Bear) had made a short series for Comedy Central called Ayo and Rachel Are Single–thank you, Alamo Drafthouse pre-show–but here they’re playing PJ and Josie, self-declared “ugly and untalented lesbians” in high school. They form an all-girl fight club in an attempt to impress their cheerleader crushes. The logic behind this development isn’t important; because there is none. The high school milieu here is chaotic, violent, and misogynist (but surprisingly cool with the gays) from the principle down to the over-hyped football team.

Marshawn Lynch’s Mr. G becomes the fight club’s faculty sponsor who can’t decide if he wants to be enlightened in his allyship or not. Practically every scene is punctuated by his mugging, whether recoiling in shock at what the girls get up to, or shaking his head judgmentally, but he never steps in to pull the crew toward sanity. These girls are, fortunately or unfortunately, unsupervised. (Practically the only other adult is played by the ravishing Dagmara Dominczyk, but she’s mostly a plot device.)

Ruby Cruz (recently from the new Willow show, apparently) stands out among the remaining fight club members as Hazel, an enthusiastic and uncommonly level-headed denizen of this mad world… when she’s not dabbling with high explosives.

The motley crew of girls marches through the absurdity to an utterly and self-consciously contrived save-the-day scenario that clearly stretched the film’s budget beyond its limit. But a believable plot and a big budget aren’t the point. This is a portrait of two resident superfreaks in a world of normal freaks. It’s Booksmart with the wheels off (and maybe one missing, the axle throwing sparks as it scrapes the pavement). Bottoms is a ride.

The trailer is hilarious, and I really like Sennot and Edebiri in other stuff I have seen them in (I have seen some of that web series).

I saw a great review of this in The Reveal newsletter, and your writeup confirms my interest. I will take my wife to this for Surprise Movie Night!

This is showing at our local theater and I’d be seeing it tonight if it weren’t for the fact that they’ve got Poltergeist on 35mm at 9pm. Got tix for the whole family. So excited!

Bottoms must wait.

We just got back. Loved it! It’s 100% Heathers meets Fight Club. The story is a bit rushed in places and Nightgaunt is right about the stretched budget in Act 3 but the movie more than makes up for it with a go-for-broke spirit. Fun soundtrack too.

Yeah, NYU!!!

Watched this last night. Yeah I would have said something along the lines of Heathers meets Fight Club with a touch of Mean Girls. I don’t know how they got away with some of the things they put in this movie, it’s so un-PC it’s amazing.

Laughed at most of it, and it gets incredibly ridiculous as it goes on (but mostly in a fun way). Marshawn Lynch is… actually seems to have pretty good comedic timing.

— Alan

Wife and I watched this tonight. Smart, funny and a ton of fun. We need more homages to the 80s teen sex comedy. A lost art form.

We were 15 minutes into the movie and my wife said, “That has got to be Cindy Crawford’s daughter.” Sure enough, her daughter, Kaia Gerber, is one of the cheerleaders. The resemblance is uncanny.

Rented this last night on a whim and really enjoyed it. I loved @Nightgaunt summary above. I was not familiar with Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennot. Marshawn Lynch is popping up everywhere lately.