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Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

“Bottoms” Review

Image Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
“Bottoms” (2023) revives the raunch-com popularized in the 90’s and 2000’s.

The raunchy teen comedy is back, and maybe controversially, better than ever. The ’90s and 2000s had a flood of unrestrained, and at times, mindless movies. Films like “American Pie”  (1999) and “Superbad” (2007) helped establish a genre defined by sexually explicit jokes and often out of pocket lines or scenarios. And, more often than not, these movies starred men. And were written by men. And were directed by men. Everything, frankly, revolved around men. 

“Bottoms” (2023) switches things up a bit. Directed and written by Emma Seligman, whose directorial debut, “Shiva Baby” (2020), received critical acclaim, Bottoms is a newer and hotter take on the raunchy comedy. With gritty and at times gasp-worthy jokes and moments, “Bottoms” fits the raunch-com genre, twisted to fit a newer demographic of young people. The film stars Ayo Edibiri as Josie and Rachel Sennott as PJ, who have starred in other critical successes such as Hulu series “The Bear” and “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (2022), respectively.

PJ (Sennott) and Josie’s (Edebiri) unpopularity stems from them being the “ugly, untalented gays”.  After a confusing situation with the star football player, Jeff, the girls are called into the principal’s office. While defending themselves, Josie lies that they were practicing for their self defense club. 

PJ takes this opportunity to convince Josie that a “fight club” would be ideal in bringing them emotionally and physically closer to the cheerleaders, Isabel and Brittany. PJ and Josie use the promise of empowerment and feminism to attract women (the hot ones) to join their club.

After fibbing about their summer spent in juvie, the girls create a tough reputation and their popularity grows. The football game with the rival school is nearing; drama, absurd situations and tension of all kinds intensify as the film progresses.

Edebiri and Sennott truly shine in the film. The duo has a history in comedy, a fact that is very evident from both of their performances. The two are consistently delivering laugh out loud moments, and at times, gasps- but that’s not a bad thing when it comes to “Bottoms”. Not only are they able to perfectly bounce off of each other in a comedic sense, but during the film’s fewer more serious moments, the stars are also able to let one another shine as “serious” actors. 

Not only do Edebiri and Sennott shine, but several other cast members deliver wonderfully comical performances. Ruby Cruz, playing the quirky and awkward third friend of the two stars adds an element of chaos that is never unwanted. Nicholas Galitzine and Miles Fowler are featured as the star football players, delivering hilarious satirical moments throughout the movie. The film also has unexpected stars, such as former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch carrying out a hilarious, yet unforeseen, performance.

Another delightful note to the film is the soundtrack. The original soundtrack to the film was composed by composer Leo Birenberg and singer-songwriter Charli XCX. Many of the songs throughout the score feature vocal performances by Charli XCX, but there are few that are simply just instrumentals done by Birenberg. 

In addition to the original score, songs by Avril Lavigne and Bonnie Tyler are featured, adding an additional layer of hilarity for the moments these songs are used. 

Coming of age movies from the 90s and 80s are extremely popular with teenagers today. Many of those formulaic movies used raunchy humor and popular culture to attract their audience. 

There was an appeal of nostalgia about Bottoms. Using themes common in older coming of age movies, Bottoms sets itself up to be a movie teenagers will enjoy regardless of the era. 

It also lets itself stand out due to being a woman loving woman story. 

There are a small number of queer movies starring women. Comedies are not a common genre used to describe the stories of this group, rather,  fiction is a common genre to explore queer stories. 

The most popular women loving women movies, such as “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) and “Carol” (2015), have melancholic plots. Bottoms being a formulaic high school comedy about lesbians is unique and exciting. The film sets up a stage to let more fun queer coming of age movies flourish. 

The script incorporated bits and jokes into nearly every moment. Jokes were quick, sarcastic, and at times shocking. Some of these bits fell flat, mostly due to the amount placed within a scene.However, the absurd amounts of jokes in the film make it easier for a wider audience to enjoy the movie. 

Many teenage comedies that came out after 2018 use what can only be described as “internet humor”. The dialogue tries to engage the younger audience, but many feel underwhelmed by the way movies try to humor them. 

Newer high school movies limit the forms of humor used in their scripts. Bottoms does the opposite by exploring witty, vulgar and dark humor. 

There was a layer of irony to most bits in Bottoms which allows the audience to appreciate them even if it’s not their type of humor.

Although the film has its darker moments, it’s bound to eventually be a classic high school flick. With themes of love and growing up, it is still a coming of age story- even through all the layers of immodesty and outrage. The film doesn’t try to be anything it’s not; it knows it isn’t serious and it knows it’s not supposed to change lives, and it plays to that. In the end, it does its job: make you laugh. In terms of the raunch-comedy revival, “Bottoms” comes out on top. 

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About the Contributors
Taryn Atwater
Taryn Atwater, Staff Writer
Hi!! My name is Taryn Atwater. I am a staff writer for wired. I am currently a senior and this is my third year  in journalism. A fun fact about me is I have a cat named Giovanni. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected].
Sarah Rizwan
Sarah Rizwan, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Sarah. I’m a staff writer for Westside Wired. I am currently a senior and this is my second year on Wired. A fun fact about me is that I like to read. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at [email protected].
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