A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Underneath the raunchy humor are themes about the importance of authenticity, kindness, and supportive friendships. The film also questions organized sports, violence, and gender, as well as the interrelationship between all three.
Positive Role Models
PJ is presented as a deeply flawed character who's largely narcissistically concerned with herself, but she learns a lesson about empathy. Josie is a more emotional character who cares about others. The romantic interests of both aren't well-developed characters, and they seem to exist mostly to give the leads something to strive for.
This is a sex comedy that centers queer women's desires, which is almost unheard of in the genre. Director/co-writer Emma Seligman is lesbian and Jewish. The cast is diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, as well as body type (though the "hot" girls are all thin). Jokes do poke fun at characters' looks, like one when someone derides a group of girls for being "ugly."
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Violence & Scariness
Violence is over the top (and includes deaths) but is played for laughs. In a melee, a football player is impaled on a sword; another is kicked in the face, and his head explodes in a spray of blood. Characters battle each other in a fight club, exchanging punches that leave bloody lips, black eyes, and broken noses. Jokes about sexual assault and homophobia; a supporting character mentions wanting to blow up the school.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual talk is very ribald, with uncensored discussion of sexual acts and body parts. There are also lots of sexual words: "p---y," "c--t," "d--ks." Characters kiss, sometimes in bed before stripping to their underwear. Teen boy character shown shirtless.
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Near-constant cursing includes "motherf--ker," "f--king," "s--t," "bitch." Many words refer to body parts: "p---y," "c--t," "booty," "d--k." There are also homophobic slurs: "f----t," "d-ke."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A side character smokes something, but it's unclear whether it's a cigar or a large marijuana cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bottoms is a raunchy comedy about two lesbian high school girls who start a fight club as a way to get their crushes' attention (and possibly sex). Violence, while played for laughs, is surprisingly bloody. Participants in the club punch and kick each other, leading to bloody noses and split lips. In a big choreographed fight scene (spoiler alert), minor characters are killed, with blood: One is impaled on a sword, another has his head kicked in with a spray of blood. Near-constant language includes "motherf--ker," "f--king," "s--t," and "bitch" as well as lots of colorful expressions for sex and body parts, as well as a homophobic slur ("f----t"). There's no nudity, but characters kiss and strip to their underwear. One character smokes something that looks like a cigar but could be pot. Characters are surreal but sympathetic, and the sex-positive, queer-women-centered vibe is practically unique in raunchy comedies. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Ribald and surreal, this film has the distinction of being an entirely new kind of comedy: a raunch-fest centering on queer women. Bottoms' world is informed by 1980s sex comedies: There are improbably large teen gatherings, actors in their late 20s playing high schoolers, and everyone in high school is bizarrely focused on a historical football rivalry. But the film undermines these cliches wildly: The school's football players never take off their uniforms (pads included), and the Big Game conflict at the film's climax is rumored to involve a human sacrifice.
Meanwhile, PJ and Josie are just as gonzo, particularly PJ, with her single-minded focus on getting physical with her crush. Edebiri fleshes Josie out with a bit more emotion (she's the one who gives the big speech that gets everybody together for a big fight, followed by hugs), but both are wacky good fun, and they have great chemistry. Funnily enough, Bottoms is a sex comedy without any actual sex: The only person who goes topless is Nicholas Galitzine's Jeff, and when two characters hook up, the camera coyly pans away as they sink down to the bed, kissing). But with gags that land often enough to keep viewers chortling and a plot and setting full of surprises, Bottoms utterly belies its name. It's a brand-new kind of screwball comedy for the ages, a silly, fizzy kick that's well worth its runtime.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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