STORY BY HAL SAGA, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
PHOTO FROM METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS, INC.
Actresses Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri play two lesbians who fabricate a fake fight club to win over girls in the positively received teen comedy “Bottoms.”
Directed by New York University alum Emma Seligman in her sophomore film debut, “Bottoms” premiered in the United States on Aug. 25. Seligman described the film in an interview with the Boston Jewish Film Festival in 2020 as a “campy queer high school comedy.”
The film follows Sennott and Edebiri as not-so-popular students PJ and Josie, respectively, debating on how they will win over their crushes Isabel and Brittany, played by Havana Rose Liu and Kaia Gerber. After awkwardly failing to interact with them due to Isabel’s boyfriend Jeff, played by Nicholas Galitzine, and Brittany’s nonchalance, PJ and Josie decide to begin a fake fight club in order to gain their attention after rumors flit about that they were in juvie for the summer.
In spite of the normal-sounding premise, the film had a number of absurdist moments. From former football player Marshawn Lynch’s role as a teacher accepting the idea of a women-organized fight club to possibly win back his wife, to the rival high school’s entire football team dying and no one in the bleachers caring at the end, “Bottoms” is a film that can only be defined as being unserious — in the best way.
The film received majority positive reviews since its opening; according to film critic website Rotten Tomatoes, it was rated 93% after an accumulation of 153 critic reviews. Tomatometer-approved critic Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya said Seligman’s film was “very on-the-nose and over-the-top,” praising it for being “riotously funny.”
As someone who expected less due to declaring Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” as my favorite movie of 2023 just a month ago due to its feminist themes, I found myself wrapped in the ridiculousness of the “Bottoms” plot and its comedic edge on empowerment.
I was enamoured with Edebiri’s performance after only 15 minutes. Her improvised monologue in act one about her having to hide her sexuality and instead marry a hypothetical closeted pastor was what reeled me in entirely; ending her speech with “Everybody knows he’s fruity!” only made my first watch of “Bottoms” know that my ticket was well-spent.
On the movie review social media website Letterboxd, “Bottoms” has a 4.3 rating from its users with around 3,700 fans. “[I] was so surprisingly taken back by how absurd and goofy this movie was,” user Chris Hill, who rated the film five stars, said.
In comparison to Hill’s review, users like Marc Kloszewski rated it two stars. “It’s pretty one-note, low on original ideas, but does excel in obnoxiousness,” Kloszewski said.
When interviewing people concerning their opinions on the film, people only had sweet, but short things to say about it. West Coast University student Rachel Esconde said it was “so good;” all that Fullerton resident Ophelia Domenici said to the Chronicle was, “Loved it!”
After being asked if they knew anyone who disliked the film, Orange Coast College student Dylan de Guzman said, “I do not accept ‘Bottoms’ slander.”