Bottoms is the second raunchy comedy movie released this year that has hit it big in terms of popularity. The first was No Hard Feelings, Jennifer Lawrence’s latest picture. While I liked her a lot in Causeway from early 2023, No Hard Feelings fell a little flat except for that one scene. It just wasn’t consistently funny enough to earn a good score from me. I didn’t even end up formally reviewing it because it was just so wide of the mark for me. But Emma Seligman’s Bottoms is the total opposite – it is razor sharp and superbly funny in the most raunchy way possible.
Marketed as Fight Club for high-school girls, Bottoms boasts an aggressive 90-minute run time. Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edibiri star as PJ and Josie, two childhood friends who are marginalized at their high school because of their gender and sexuality. Pretty standard stuff. They make stuff up as a joke and to get out of trouble. They eventually end up in a situation where they’re starting to gain the attention and respect they crave but at the cost of their honesty and potentially their friendship. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
It’s a standard concept that has been made about a million times. But director/writer Emma Seligman and co-writer/star Rachel Sennott dress this concept up with a loud, proud, and unapologetic attitude. The wit smashed into this movie is nothing short of genius. Take Greta Gerwig’s best jokes in Barbie, add in the depravity of The Hangover, and you get Bottoms.
…loud, proud, and unapologetic attitude.
If Seligman had cast anybody else in this movie, I’m not sure it would have worked nearly as well. These roles seem to have been written exclusively for Sennott and Edibiri. They have some of the best comedic chemistry I’ve seen in years. Their timing is impeccable. Sennott is “go go go” and Edibiri plays it more reserved, with an understated tone that makes a wonderful combination. It’s like watching a remixed Will Ferrell and John. C Reilly or Andy Samberg and Danny McBride. Give me more of these two ASAP.
Despite the whip-smart writing, excellent background gags, and very solid acting, the movie does suffer from generic cinematography and soundtracks. I am a huge stickler for those details and it really irks me when there aren’t more than 1 or 2 creative shots. I like to see filmmakers give me some eye candy when it makes sense. There was definitely an opportunity to get a little more creative with it. The soundtrack is also pretty lame. It’s not the biggest deal, but it’s definitely missing one or two things there too.
Bottoms is the unprecedented and much-needed surprise hit of the year for me. I think it’s going to really find an audience once it hits the streaming services. Sennott and Edebiri are two rising stars that I will watch in earnest.
Directed by: Emma Seligman
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Starring: Rachel Sennott, Ayo Edebiri