Bottoms Movie Review
An edgy comedy only really works if funny, and that’s the problem with Bottoms. Cleverly edgy with a killer concept, Bottoms unfortunately bottoms out with humor that rarely lands.
Comedy is the most subjective of genres, of course, and there are raving fans of Bottoms out there. I wasn’t one of them. As I sat in a nearly empty theater, though, what frustrated me the most is how close this movie is to being a comedy classic–the writing is sharp, the concept full of potential, the cast set up for success. It just doesn’t fucking click.
Bottoms is 90 minutes of try-and-see-if-it-sticks humor. Very little of it sticks.
But let’s talk about what works: Bottoms is surprisingly good at “world building”--the movie exists in an exaggerated world of high school and high school football, where the school exists for one reason: to ensure its football stars are in tip-top shape so that they can literally destroy their rivals in an upcoming game. Jeff, the quarterback, is a womanizing, idiotic, sociopathic, and his teammates aren’t much better. Everyone else, practically, are enablers.
Rachel Sennott (who co-wrote the movie with director Emma Seligman, who also directed Sennott in Shiva Baby, another comedy I didn’t find particularly funny) and Ayo Edebiri are well cast; Sennott especially has headliner spark. Several of the supporting cast members also add color, though as a Seahawk season ticket holder and huge Marshawn Lynch fan, I was a little baffled as to why Marshawn Lynch is in this movie. The former running back has the potential to be funny, but like everything else in Bottoms, the vibe is off.
And that’s the thing: after doing two movies together, Seligman and Stennott clearly have a sense of humor that doesn’t vibe with me. Maybe it’ll vibe with you. And if it does, then Bottoms will be worth it because so many of the other pieces are in place.
If it doesn’t, Bottoms is a very long 90 minutes.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.