Movie Review - Blockers
I'm sure the filmmakers wanted that obviousness and predictability because that's what makes the parents comical. That's the joke of their characters. That's part of what makes them funny, except it's not. It's not funny because there's no way to side with them. Maybe, if their daughters were flawed in some way or more vulnerable, or maybe if the boys were jerks, then we could go along with the parents. Yet, there's nothing to connect us with the parents. They're simply idiotic and overly neurotic.
The screenwriters, Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe try to subvert that somewhat. Actually, one of the parents is not fully on board with wanting to stop their daughters from having sex. He actually tries to stop the other two parents. Eventually, he goes along too and loses whatever credibility he had. For a few moments, he was the voice of reason and made some sense. Yet, in order to extend the movie's run-time, he has to abandon his reason and his progressive point of view.
Leslie Mann (The Other Woman and This is 40) stars as Lisa, a single mom who's devoted her life to her daughter, so much so that she's not dealing with her impending empty nest very well. We don't see her interacting with female friends or family members her own age. We don't know if she has parents, siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins. She's just clingy to her daughter. At least, she acknowledges her own pathetic nature.
John Cena (Sisters and Trainwreck) also stars as Mitchell. He's married to a woman of India heritage. He has a teenage daughter and also a young baby. His wife is into real estate or interior design from what we gather from a brief moment of her on the phone. We get no clue what Mitchell does for work. It doesn't matter, but it does underscore how one-dimensional he is, as he's just the cliché dad who doesn't want his daughter to have sex. His objection seems to be superficial. He doesn't like that his daughter's boyfriend has long hair in a man-bun. Maybe if he objected for religious reasons or if he objected because he thought the boyfriend was a drug-dealer, then that would be something, but that isn't the case.
Of the three parents, Hunter is the only one with some semblance of reason. He doesn't want his lesbian daughter to feel like she can't be who she is and that she has to fit in by having sex with a boy. Therefore, Hunter's motivation makes more sense. After a point, for him to go along with all this lost his credibility. It's also odd that at no point he reveals how he knows his daughter is gay and maybe not bisexual. While it's appreciated that a parent would stick up for his daughter's homosexuality, it's still gross that he would try to interfere directly with her sex life.
The other issue is that all three daughters are seniors in high school about to go to college. The assumption that all three are still virgins is something that is never addressed. Many girls have had sex long before their 18th birthday or long before their high-school graduation. These girls did but get no credit for it from their parents. Lisa thinks her daughter will ruin her life by following a boy or maybe get pregnant too young like she did. Mitchell doesn't think that, he just doesn't want his daughter having sex with no logic at all to it.
Lisa's daughter is Julie, played by Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Mitchell's daughter is Kayla, played by Geraldine Viswanatha, and Hunter's daughter is Sam, played by Gideon Adlon. I almost wish the movie had been only about Julie, Kayla and Sam, making this akin to Can't Hardly Wait (1998), American Pie (1999) or even Superbad (2007) but more from a female perspective or point-of-view. Because the parents are more the stars here, we get a watered-down version of a teen sex comedy.
I'm not arguing that the teens should have been nude. I'm just arguing the pointlessness of the nudity among the adults. Male nudity can be well-utilized as it was in the recent Game Over, Man! on Netflix or the hit film Girls Trip (2017). It was almost purposeful in those two movies. Here, it feels truly there just for shock value and nothing else.
Rated R for crude and sexual content, language, drugs, teens partying and graphic nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 42 mins.