August 31, 2023

CINEMA | 'Bottoms' Empowers A Queer Female Fight Club

"Everyone hates us for being gay, untalented, and ugly."
Rachel Sennott Kaia Gerber Emma Seligman | Bottoms
Orion Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
Shiva Baby duo, Toronto-raised director Emma Seligman and star Rachel Sennott, reteam to co-write the hilariously unhinged queer teen sex comedy Bottoms. Inspired by classic high school movies of the past, things go off the rails when Sennott and Ayo Edebiri's loser lesbian classmates and childhood best friends, PJ and Josie, start their own female fight club (under the guise of self-defence) in order to try and hook up with cheerleaders and lose their virginities.

Fronted a colourful cast of talented young performers like Ruby Cruz, Havana Rose Liu, and Kaia Gerber alongside an endlessly amusing comic turn from former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch as Mr. G, Sennott assembles a wonderfully capable ensemble of actors who recreate the chaotic vibes of high school dialled up to eleven.

From producer Elizabeth Banks, Seligman ratchets up the camp sense of sexual queer tension cut through its fairly brutal, over-the-top violence. Seeing young, attractive women hit, punch, and beat each other up in the name of self-empowerment as a show of feminist force is strangely appealing without being titillating.

Titled after the low-end social status of its two lead characters at the bottom of their high school's pecking order, Bottoms is a sweetly intentioned force of nature feminist comedy cementing itself into the teen movie genre. It's an extremely horny and refreshing queer takedown of the usual male cinematic gaze with really bizarre character turns. Seligman has made a wild, gonzo ride of heightened teen drama with the highest sense of comical violence possible.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Them / Vulture

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