"Bottoms:" Reinventing the Sex Comedy
On August 25th, the highly anticipated lesbian comedy, Bottoms finally hit theaters, to the delight of audiences members everywhere, including myself. As I sat in the sold-out theater, I had no idea what to expect, it had been a long time since I had gone to the cinema to see a comedy film, but I was optimistic, even after seeing no trailers. Needless to say, I was completely blown away not only by the comedy, but the story, performances, and exceptional writing that this movie has to give. In my humble opinion, we might have on our hands, the funniest film of 2023.
My expectations were a little higher than usual for Bottoms, considering who directed it. Bottoms is the second feature film from Canadian director, Emma Seligman, who wowed me with her directorial debut, Shiva Baby from 2020. So to me, Seligman had already proven herself as a great director, but Bottoms exceeded my highest expectations. The film follows the story of best friends PJ and Josie as they set up a high school fight club to hook up with their popular cheerleader crushes. At its core, the film is a teen sex comedy, that revolutionizes the genre by having two awkward lesbians as the main characters. Despite the genre's reputation for being shallow and dated, Bottoms has just as much heart as it does laughs. Not only does it offer plenty of comedy for audience members to enjoy, but it also explores young female friendships, sexuality, and growing up.
The two leads, PJ and Josie are played by Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edibri respectively, with Sennot also serving as writer and executive producer with Seligman. The two are very convincing when it comes to playing best friends, they both have such great on-screen chemistry as well as comedic timing. Both these actresses have seen an emormous amount of success in the past year, with Sennott starring in Bodies Bodies Bodies as well as HBO's The Idol, and Edibri has been in Abbott Elementary, Across the Spider-Verse, and secured a main role in Hulu's The Bear. It's abundantly clear that both these young women are cementing themselves as notable actresses in today's entertainment scene. However, Bottoms might just be their best work yet. The film also features great performances by Nicholas Galitzine, Ruby Cruz, and....Marshawn Lynch? That's right, apparently NFL players make surprisingly good comedy actors.
Bottoms is absolutely riddled with raunchy, absurdist comedy that could make your Catholic grandmother laugh. Perhaps the film's strongest attribute is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It starts with two teenagers getting ready to go to a carnival and ends with a literal death battle...what's not to love?
After seeing Bottoms in theaters, I seriously cannot recall a more fun time I've ever had at the movies. The audience was audibly screaming at some parts and there were multiple, brief standing ovations mid-show. It's clear just how well this film understands its target demographic. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen another film that perfectly caters to its audience as much as Bottoms.
Despite all there is to love about Emma Seligman's new film, my favorite aspect of Bottoms doesn't have anything to do with the contents of the movie. For the majority of my life, sold-out movie theaters were reserved for big blockbusters, superhero movies, reboots, and legacy sequels. But when I went down to my local cinema to see Bottoms, I witnessed a jam-packed theater of people eagerly waiting for an original movie, not a remake, not a sequel, something totally new. It's so incredibly reassuring to see that some of the top grossing films of 2023 so far have been totally original projects. Barbie, Oppenheimer, Talk to Me, and now Bottoms. Although I have a strong appreciation for Bottoms as a film, I'm more grateful for what it stands for. I hope that studios can take note of 2023 and see that audiences want to see new and engaging stories, not just more sequels and reboots. So thank you Bottoms, in my heart, you'll always be on top.