Girls Run a Raunchy and Hilarious New Fight Club


What lengths would your high-school self go to in order to achieve a certain raunchy goal before graduation? We’ve seen it done in throwbacks like American Pie and Superbad. But with the new LGBTQ+ sex comedy Bottoms, whose title may or may not have kinky connotations, rising actress Rachel Sennott and her equally hilarious co-star Ayo Edebiri — whose hit show The Bear is up for countless Emmy Awards this season — bring the popular subgenre to new heights thanks to relentlessly hilarious one-liners, a plethora of fun supporting performances by guys and gals, and a heartfelt message that ultimately shines through about friendship and community.

Who Said Parody Is Dead?

“You’re not a feminist; your favorite show is Entourage.” That’s just one of memorable quotes from Bottoms, which focuses on high school seniors PJ (Sennott) and Josie (Edebiri), an unlikely duo of lesbians determined to score with their school crushes by the time they receive their diplomas. The kicker? They don’t really know where to start when it comes to flirting. They are also bullied; watch as they don’t even think twice when nasty expletives are routinely painted across their lockers. Even the principal has no problem singling them out in front of the entire school because of their sexual orientation.

And this is where a particular brand of comedy really shines through, calling back classics like Not Another Teen Movie. Who said parody was dead? Hey, Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part II is up for Emmys this season, while we’re on the matter. So, clearly not! Bottoms holds nothing back as it mocks modern high school tropes, including the typical “star quarterback” persona we’ve seen time and time again. Here, his name is Jeff (the name on full display just about everywhere you look around the school) and played to perfection by Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella). Just seeing how the rest of his team and the school at large literally bow down to him will crack you up.

When it comes to parody, no one is safe — and that includes acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher. The whole premise of Bottoms is centered around a “fight club,” aka an after-school group aiming to teach girls how to defend themselves, started by PJ and Josie. One of the members even mentions Fincher by name in the movie, but it’s more flattery than parody at the end of the day. The dirty secret behind this fight club is PJ and Josie’s ulterior motive: They see it as a way to get with the cheerleader girls they’re crushing on, one of whom is dating Jeff the quarterback.

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High Schoolers Making Things ‘So Complicated’

Cast of Bottoms (2023)

PJ and Josie’s outrageously bizarre plan works — that is, until it doesn’t. At first, it successfully gains the attention of “it girl” Brittany (Kaia Gerber) and her posse of popular pals. The hard R-rated Bottoms holds nothing back as the fight club members beat each other senseless in the school’s gymnasium.

One small caveat: The main reason the club got off the ground is that the pair of leading ladies lied to everyone and claimed they “went to juvey.” Josie’s inventive rambling leads to her telling everyone that she once “punched a girl until she was dead.” One of her classmates then has the ultimate deadpan reply: “So…you killed her.” It’s funny little moments like these that send PJ and Josie scrambling to walk the fine line of making themselves look badass without overdoing it…

And once the jealous football jocks catch on, they try to poke holes in the club and expose PJ and Josie’s lies. And when they do, how about a throwback pop song to paint the picture? Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” plays during PJ and Josie’s “all is lost” third-act sequence. Brittany, for one, isn’t pleased when she learns the lies told by her crush, PJ, and if Gerber lands more hit movie roles in the future, she can thank the writers of Bottoms for making it happen. When a desperate PJ asks Brittany to come back to the club, Brittany says, “In your dreams! Which, I hope you don’t have any… Yeah, I hope that when you sleep, it’s just…darkness.”

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Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott Did it Again

Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri in Bottoms (2023)

Meanwhile, the dude characters hold their own in a movie that’s appropriately dominated by girl power. Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch lands the role of his life as their teacher of — actually, it’s hard to say which subject he teaches. You’ll see what we mean, especially after witnessing the endless, outrageous “insightful” messages he writes on his classroom’s chalkboard every day. In the theater where Bottoms screened, folks couldn’t stop laughing at these cutaways.

And finally, we’d be remiss not to mention that young star Nicholas Galitzine has some great comedic chops, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for him. Don’t let his melancholic turn in Red, White & Royal Blue throw you off. He steals most, if not all, of his scenes as Jeff the narcissistic quarterback. And watch out for that scene early on when the gals “hit him” with their car. It’s physical comedy at its finest, and since the movie is stuffed with other equally hilarious moments, it’s possible Bottoms could become this summer’s next surprise hit.

That was certainly the case with star Rachel Sennott and director Emma Seligman’s last film, the wonderful Shiva Baby, and we think Bottoms has even more potential.

From MGM, Bottoms will be in select theaters on Friday.

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