‘Blockers’ Review

BlockersBlockers is a sex comedy film directed by Kay Cannon in her directorial debut and stars Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon. The story follows a trio of parents who try to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. The film’s title is a reference to the act of “cock blocking”; with the rooster icon being placed above the title to further the connection. Kay Cannon does a fine job directing this film and making the story and characters work. The premise is a silly one but has a few moments of emotional weight that keep the story interesting and grounded. Cannon deals with the double standard of human sexuality along with teen angst and generational gaps. The best thing the film has going for it is the characters. They’re all three dimensional and display real growth throughout the film. The adult cast complements each other perfectly and proves how difficult keeping up with friendships can become. There is some friction due to one of them being divorced as well as not having hung out in a while. John Cena has found his niche in comedic performances and should stick with the genre moving forward. Cena portrays Mitchell, an overprotective, emotional and sports-obsessed father. Mitchell is the most gullible of the group of parents which gets him stuck in some crazy predicaments. He goes along with the plan to keep his daughter Kayla safe. Leslie Mann does well as Lisa Decker. She is a single mother and is very attached to her daughter, Julie. She doesn’t want Julie to make the same mistakes that she made and doesn’t want her to be too far away from home during college. Ike Barinholtz turns in a hilarious and somewhat emotional performance as Hunter. He is shown to be mostly absent from his daughter Sam’s life. This has caused some tension between him, his daughter, Mitchell, and Lisa as they blame him for the divorce. Despite Hunter’s absence, he still knows his daughter very well and only goes along with the plan so that the others don’t ruin Sam’s prom night. The younger cast also turns in solid performances. Kathryn Newton is coming into her own as an actress displaying a great deal of range in her roles. As Julie Decker, she is kind, intelligent, and romantic. She enjoys spending time with her mom but is excited for the freedom that awaits her in college. She is the one who initiates the sex pact with the girls but isn’t forceful about it. She’s happy that they wish to do it with her but would be just as happy if they didn’t. Geraldine Viswanathan is strong, free-spirited, and fun as Kayla. She has spent most of her life as an athlete and is ready to kick back and enjoy life now that she’s done. She’s proud of the way her father raised her as it has allowed her to handle herself. Gideon Adlon is shy, sweet and intelligent as Sam. She is not sure about the pact but goes along with it as she doesn’t want to be alienated from her friends. Although the film has some funny moments, some of the jokes do not land. There are also some pacing issues and unrealistic scenarios. I give Blockers a Decent 7/10. It’s a fun comedy that tackles teen sex in an interesting way.

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