21 Dec 23
Fresh Takes is a space for the latest generation of film lovers to share their views and opinions on some of the great films we are showing at Picturehouse cinemas.
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Here are some Fresh Takes on Bottoms, a dark comedy about two socially inept and sexually frustrated lesbians who start a high-school fight club to impress the cheerleaders.
Hot off the success of their debut feature collaboration Shiva Baby, director Emma Seligman and actor Rachel Sennott co-write Bottoms, a hilarious queer teen comedy that we'll be quoting and revisiting for years.
If cheesy early 2000s comedies are your thing – or even if they're not – chances are you'll enjoy the hell out of Bottoms. Taking the self-absorbed protagonists of that era and applying a witty satirical spin makes the film so special, with its critiques of the genre coming from a place of love. It's almost like archaeologists found a DVD of Bottoms, perfectly sealed, housed inside a Blockbuster rental store from 2004 just waiting to be released.
Lots of contemporary films are making a point of reminding moviegoers about the importance of the big screen experience, with many touting huge spectacle as the main draw. Bottoms instead reminds us of the importance of cinema through the sheer joy of communal viewing, sitting in a room full of people who are all in hysterics at the pitch-perfect performances, absurd situations, and intelligent social commentary.
Bursting with an infectious energy that can't help but make you grin from ear to ear, Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri lead a stellar ensemble you must see for yourself.
Bottoms is a hilariously self-aware and innovative high school movie, celebrating the best of its genre while also reinventing it. The narrative is straightforward yet rapidly evolving and
weird, and the visceral emotions the film provokes are wildly unexpected when you first begin watching.
Even though the film is primarily a comedy, it is incredibly self-aware: the high school stereotypes are all apparent but exaggerated beyond belief, from a muscular-but-dim jock to the attractive cheerleaders and shy emo kids. Even the teacher in the film is exaggerated and portrayed funnily, from his lewd magazines to his awkward mannerisms – it shows an attention to detail that a lot of filmmakers don't have.
Naturally, however, main characters PJ and Josie are the stars of the show. As if coming straight from the director's heart, you can see the pain and joy in every section of the narrative through Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri's performances. The film is a celebration of modern-day feminism and LGBTQ+ society, expertly demonstrated through these characters and the limiting beliefs they are fed.
The film uses 'show, not tell' techniques to undermine stereotypes, its empowering messages bundled up in a comedic, highly entertaining narrative (and an Avril Lavigne needle drop).
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