Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have a good track record as producers, and they’re the only pedigree that made me want to see Blockers. A teen sex comedy, but with 40 year old wrestler John Cena as the lead didn’t particularly entice me. Though after hearing some good things I decided to give it go. At first it’s basically just Superbad, but with three girls trying to lose their virginity before they leave for college, instead of three guys. However these three girls have protective parents (in their own particular ways) who are going try and stop this from happening.
Something to notice about most of the comedies Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are involved with, is that their heart is in the right place. If you think about movies like The Night Before or Knocked Up, their emotional centres are good, and work in the narrative. They are not total chaotic laughs, and usually have some form of family or friendship value to them. This film is similar, where the love between the characters is present and it makes the film a pleasant viewing. It’s hard not to keep a smile on your face, when it’s clear the parents love their kids, and the writings good enough that you believe all the friendships. This comes directly from how well all the teenagers act. Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon play the main three, and they have great chemistry. Viswnathan is the best of them, and is charming throughout.
Unfortunately John Cena cannot act, however he is naturally funny. And the film as a whole has a naturally funny feel. Not all the jokes are original, smart or interesting but they come in as likeable. It is a funny movie, and a couple of bits really got me going, from both situation and the actors. Leslie Mann is hilarious in everything she is in, and had a fun connection with Cena. The third parent Hunter, played by Ike Barinholtz, was actually a well rounded, engaging character who was also funny from his way of being. I think this way of being comes from the writing, so props to Brian and Jim Kehoe, because the characters were humorous in different ways.
Kay Cannon makes her directorial debut here, and it’s nice to have a female director with this kind of film, because we get a new perspective on the mainstream comedy (less masculine nonsense). The directing in the end isn’t massively impressive, though the film does not look bad, and is never boring. It did become that gross-out thing that I don’t enjoy, where Cena is put through something I wish on no-one – a scene that is dragged on for too long. Most of the runtime is pretty funny though, and it’s a comedy so what more do you want. It’s also just a nice film, about nice people doing stupid things, and I’m glad films like this are popular.
Is it worth the price of a cinema ticket?