Blockers is the directorial debut for Pitch Perfect (2012) writer/producer Kay Cannon and she makes her proficiency in directing comedy known here with a funny and genuinely meaningful film. When three daughters make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night their parents will team up to put a stop to their plans. It’s a teen sex comedy with a straightforward and clever plot which allows for a number of successfully funny moments and also has quite a bit of heart injected into it. Contrary to some of my initial worries, it’s actually surprisingly funny the whole way through which in the end results in a pretty enjoyable movie. There are some parts where the humour isn’t as strong or disappears for a bit but I was never bored even for a second. It’s a well cast film on both the side of the teens and the parents so that no matter which group the story is following there is some engagement in the characters.
The comedy shines through the interactions between the two trios at the centre of the story and no matter who it’s focusing on I had fun either way. The younger cast members in Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon do get their time to shine comedically and they handle all of their scenes well. I bought the fact that these are three friends who have grown up together and liked the chemistry exhibited through their scenes. But they are outshone by the comedic prowess of Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and even John Cena who is genuinely very funny, maybe even the funniest of the bunch. Mann and Barinholtz are veterans in the comedy game and they come to play delivering some great comedic moments throughout. It’s John Cena though who is the big surprise here as he proves he can execute comedic moments fantastically. He had a couple of small roles in both Trainwreck and Sisters in 2015 and he was good in the limited screen-time he had there. But here he has a leading role and shows that he can do comedy really well and I wouldn’t mind seeing him pop up in more things.
What else is great about these characters is the way the story ties them all together through a number of meaningful and emotional subplots that never overwhelms the comedy. The chemistry and relationships shared between the parents and their daughters are very strong and you never forget the strength of that connection even through all of the comedy hijinks going on. And you know these stories are well told when during the downtime where there aren’t really too many humorous moments I was still engaged in continuing the story. For the most part you know where the main story is going to go and where the individual character arcs are going to end up but the ride to get there is fun and moves at a quick pace that always holds your interest. The boyfriend roles in the film aren’t the greatest characters and they don’t often work in the comedic realm or even the meaningful side of the story. The characters for obvious reasons had to be there but they don’t add anything of much value to the story.
The comedy is well written and quite effective. It doesn’t always hit though, there are a few physical humour moments such as a puke gag which are a little more on the silly side as oppose to funny. But for the most part the dialogue driven comedy works and is enough to entertain throughout the movie. The emotion doesn’t take away from the comedic tone but rather gives the film and characters a bit more depth beyond being just a throwaway comedy.
This might not be one of those comedies that will have you laughing as you relive the funniest lines and moments but it’s a good serviceable comedy with a great cast and plenty to enjoy. There’s some meaning to the story that is actually very effective and has you caring about these characters more than you probably thought you would. There’s plenty to laugh at and you won’t be bored as the hour and 40 minute runtime flies past making it an easy watch for a good laugh.