Blockers (2018)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Blockers</strong> (2018)

(On Cable TV, December 2018) In the pantheon of comedy characters, the icon of a parent trying to stop their daughters from getting in trouble (for euphemistic values of “trouble”) ranks highly enough that Blockers not only based its entire premise on it, but multiplies the parent/daughter pairing by three for good measure. The film’s success starts with a decent script, but is fully realized by great casting with none other than Ike Barinholtz, Leslie Mann and the ever-dependable John Cena as the parents, as well as newcomers Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon are the daughters. (Viswanathan, in particular, makes an impression.) The plot itself goes back to the good old prom day premise, as the daughters plan on losing their virginities and the parents vow not to let that happen. The rest is one comic episode after another, punctuated by such things as a spectacular car crash, wild parties, and bonding between the parents chasing their daughters. It all ends on a surprisingly mature note (especially by notoriously juvenile sex comedy standards), reflecting contemporary morality rather than questionable old-fashioned standards. The fast pace helps, as does a script that seeks to go beyond the easiest answers. Expectations may count for much here, as the film is significantly better than expected. Still, a good movie is a good movie, and Blockers does have the advantage of feeling like a 2018 movie, and not a 1980s one dressed-up with cell phones and new car models.

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