“If you want to know the business of all the popular kids, ask an unpopular kid. They know it all because they’re the ones who really pay attention,” Lonely University Freshman Tracy muses aloud
in Noah Baumbach’s 2017 film Mistress of America True to this respected alumnus who was unpopular in high school; I may not be able to tell you that the French verb is a conjugation of , but I can for you Tells a dramatic history between two hot, popular girls in my grade who I’ve never spoken to in my life.
I had a famous friend, all through high school, we spent weekends in her basement eating peanut butter jars and watching rom-coms about the American teenage experience while our classmates Live there. One of our perennial favorites is Superbad
, a 2017 buddy comedy about two obnoxious seniors at graduation The story of ex trying to get himself booze and sex. Last weekend at SXSW, I finally stumbled across a worthy spiritual successor to that film: Emma Seligman’s Bottoms , which follows openly gay losers PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) who form a fight club to gain social influence and, more importantly, hook up with cheerleaders in Together, these cheerleaders excelled throughout high school.
We’ve had ugly moments with LGBTQ+ teens in America, maybe in part because I really like the Bottoms kind of background. The movie doesn’t hold back when it comes to the endless footage of the girls violently attacking each other in PJ and Josie’s impromptu fight club, loosely overseen by an unrelated teacher, played to perfection by Marshawn Lynch, and mostly taking place in a realistic vulgar scenes in high school gymnasium. I like that Bottoms don’t (literally) go all out. Facing the mounting pressure on queer and trans youth to be unassailable role models, see Josie willingly but awkwardly smash her crush in the face, or hear PJ complain about the modesty of a first-time Fight Club appearance Groups, it’s an absolute joy: “These girls are ugly.” (This is just in: Teenagers are usually rude and stupid! Even gay!)
ass ‘ stars are all in their mid to late stages 20, this movie doesn’t even try to visually age them, but it Enhanced sense of humor. After all, I grew up watching mature adults seriously try to portray teens on The OC, so I’m more than willing to suspend my disbelief about the possibility of a junior high school student just so Looks like Kaia Gerber. (Gerber is used discreetly and perfectly in Bottoms, by the way, if you ever dreamed of seeing her throw a square punch to the jaw of a jerk man, this is the movie for you.)