Bottoms, Bottoms, Bottoms!

Ayo Edibiri and Rachel Sennott, movie stars

Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott, the stars (and in Sennott’s case, co-writer) of the new sort-of-indie high school comedy Bottoms, are quickly ascending the Hollywood ladder. Despite their relative youth, both women are incredibly booked and busy as writers, voiceover artists, and actors. Sennott gained a lot of notoriety with Shiva Baby, and even more with Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. Edebiri has been a major breakout on season two of The Bear, and was a much-hyped, eagerly anticipated, and highly enjoyable guest star as Janine’s sister on Abbott Elementary.

BOTTOMS ★★★★ (4/5 stars)
Directed by: Emma Seligman
Written by: Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott
Starring: Ayo Edibiri, Rachel Sennott, Ruby Cruz, Marshawn Lynch  
Running time: 114 min

I haven’t seen their 2020 Comedy Central series, so this was my first time viewing the two together in a project. They have great chemistry and are an inherently funny pairing. PJ’s (Sennott) loud zingers make Josie’s (Edebiri) quiet, brilliant mumbles even funnier, and vice versa. They’re a perfect example of opposites attracting as best friends. The one thing they have in common? They’re horny for the hottest girls in school, and they’ll stop at nothing to get them. I was a little surprised to see Sennott and Edebiri playing teens, but they’re far from the oldest actors to do so. Given the nature of the film, it makes sense why they chose a high school setting. They needed to, for the tropes.

I appreciate a movie that leans into and acknowledges tropes, and Bottoms does an excellent job at that. The popular jocks aren’t just a stereotype, they’re such a stereotype that they’re essentially absurdist art. The troubled loner announces his intent to blow up the school because a soft hit to the back is “the last straw!” Brittany the hot girl (Kaia Gerber) isn’t JUST hot – she’s smart, driven, and owns her own jewelry business that no one’s even talking about! The involved teacher isn’t just involved, he changes his lesson plan to be more inclusive, covering such topics as “Women Murdered Throughout History.” Also, Marshawn Lynch, my favorite NFL-player-turned actor, plays him.

So, yes. The plot is predictable and the tropes are too, but the writing elevates both. The jokes were refreshing and surprising, and I’ve never seen a non-horror teen comedy feature a virtual bloodbath on a football field before. Props for that. Some aspects of the plot had a rather loose weave. For example, why does Huntington get away with literally murdering football players every year? What’s their motive? Why didn’t that nosy football player realize that states seal juvie records? But, like many successful teen comedies, the audience has so much fun they don’t care.

Bottoms is the kind of movie you enjoy upon first viewing and find more to like after a second viewing. I look forward to seeing more from this team.


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Kristin Clifford

Kristin Clifford is a comedy writer in Los Angeles. She started in Chicago, studying improv and performing stand-up, but has traded the stage for the page. Recent projects include writing for season 2 of Cathy in Real Life.

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