In raunch-com Blockers, the eponymous trio (Ike Barinholz, Leslie Mann, John Cena) discover a group message between their three daughters that suggests the teenagers plan to lose their virginity on prom night. The parental units launch a frantic quest to prevent the plot, but the daughters' dates arrive far too awkward, feckless or supremely stoned to threaten any virtue. Whatever reasons drive our unblockable heroines toward the bedroom, satisfying the boys' desires plays no part.
Four decades after Little Darlings pioneered gender equity for the teenage sex pact, there's a quietly transgressive power about high school heroines absolutely unconcerned with their partners' needs.
As dark satire about Super Moms and oversharing Cool Dads, this first feature directed by Pitch Perfect scribe and Girlboss creator Kay Cannon indulges a writerly approach—relishing every throwaway gag, laboring over each slapstick set piece.
But prizing nuance over pace inevitably exhausts the momentum of material that was never meant to be artful. Based on this debut, Cannon deserves a project less dependent on vomit, butt-chugging and penis jokes. But if Blockers has taught us anything, sometimes you just need to get that first experience out of the way.
Critic's rating: 3/4 stars.
Blockers is rated R and now playing at Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.