Bottoms (2023). Never As Smart As It Thinks It Is!

“Bottoms,” writer/director Emma Seligman’s sophomore effect, features PJ (Rachel Sennott of “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies”) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), two lesbians who are at the bottom of the school food chain. Coasting on a rumor that they are juvenile delinquents – which elevates their coolness factor – they decide to form a girl’s fight club. Any similarity to the David Fincher/Brad Pitt movie. though, ends there. It turns out what we really got goin’ on here is a f**k club, our heroines getting off on pinning or being pinned by the straight/fluid cheerleaders they lusted after all through high school. and who they have now lured into their spider’s web of deception under the guise of sisterhood and female empowerment.


Seligman’s debut was the sweet and funny “Shiva Baby,” which also starred Sennott (she has graduated to be co-writer on “Bottoms”). Set in a single room during the aforementioned wake, “Shiva” used its confined space to sometimes ingenious effect. With the contextual and physical liberation of doing a riff on the high school sex comedy genre, you would think that Seligman’s imagination would soar. Instead, it mostly crashes. There is some good stuff here. For instance, the school football players are always in uniform, the school “wrestler” is kept in a cage, and former N.F.L running back Marshawn Lynch gets some well-deserved laughs as the club’s faculty adviser. However, the movie is a mess and is never as smart as it thinks.


Eventually, Seigelman and Sennott drop any pretense of reality, taking us into a world of extreme violence that can only be described as “Clockwork Orange” dystopian. Some of these girls are so sociopathic and/or psychotic that it just wasn’t funny anymore. At least not to me.


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