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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘Bottoms’ is the justice for gay losers you’ve been looking for

Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures

“Bottoms” is the gayest movie you’ve already seen. Part “Heathers,” part “Fight Club” and part “American Pie,” “Bottoms” is a culmination of teen and cult classics that is elevated and updated for the next generation. 

PJ and Josie, played by Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri respectively, are entering yet another year of high school, doomed to spend it with homophobic slurs written across their lockers and lower than the bottom of the food chain. 

That is until an interaction with Jeff, the school’s No. 1 jock, played by Nicholas Galitzine, gets spun through the web of gossip. Suddenly, PJ and Jose find themselves as juvie convicts who have killed before and would again. 

On the backs of their newfound reputation, the girls found a fight club under the guise of female empowerment — with the real goal of getting in girls’ pants.

Although the words “fight club” should have been more of a warning than I took them for, “Bottoms” is more unabashedly violent than I was expecting. The action scenes are well-choreographed and potentially better than most action movies that have come out in the past three years. In terms of gore, however, think “From Dusk Until Dawn,” not “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” None of the bloody scenes are made to scare.

Something a bit scarier is the post-apocalypticness found in their background but in reality, it is just your average American high school. 

The cast fires on all cylinders. Sennott and Edebiri shine in the extrovert-introvert,  mastermind-reluctant friend pairing, and Galitzine attacks the effeminate, neanderthalic Jeff with comedic precision.

Ayo Edebiri, in particular, is a star-in-waiting. Actors are often truly revealed in unexpecting roles, like Steve Carrell in “Little Miss Sunshine,” and although Edebiri is one of the hottest names on the Hollywood roster right now for her work in FX’s “The Bear,” “Bottoms” began to unravel what she could be.

To sponsor their club, PJ and Josie go to their least caring teacher, Mr. G, played by Marshawn Lynch. In his first character role in a feature film, everything out of Lynch’s mouth is absolute gold, and his comedic timing works so well. 

Within his constant jokes, Mr. G’s complicated relationship with women and feminism frames the conflict around the feigned and real purposes behind the club. 

“Bottoms” is wickedly funny but tactful and smart about who and what its bits are about. Even the stockiest of characters are given some depth to play around with. 

It eschews the easy joke that no one likes PJ and Josie just because they’re lesbians and makes sure you know that no one likes them because they are lesbians and losers. Our two cheerleaders, Brittany and Isabel, aren’t brainless and conniving, but ambitious, driven and empowered. 

This is taken further through Brittany’s character, played by Kaia Gerber, as she seemingly plays her part as the dumb cheerleader but reveals herself as a competent and confident business owner.

Many movies about Gen Z tend to throw any amount of internet lingo and therapy talk together and hope it counts as a joke but are, more often than not, missing the mark. It is refreshing to see writers acutely in tune with the cultural environment of this generation.

About half-way through watching “Bottoms,” it became clear that it already warranted a second watch and a third and a fourth. 

Because it is so densely packed with bits, not only in its dialogue but in the set design, the film is tailor-made for Friday nights on the couch when you just need to laugh. It is essential viewing in the teen sex comedy canon.

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About the Contributor
Trinity Ramm
Trinity Ramm, Managing Editor
Trinity Ramm is the managing editor and former sports editor for The Sunflower. This is her second year on staff. Ramm is a senior English Lit major and a sociology minor with a certificate in film studies. In her limited spare time, she can be found at the movie theater, browsing some obscure film database or crocheting. Ramm uses she/her pronouns.

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