Bottoms follows two lesbian best friends, PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) as they return from their summer vacation and start a new school year more determined than ever to get their crushes to like them back. The school’s quarterback, Jeff (Nicholas Galitzine) is dating Isabel (Havana Rose Liu), Josie’s crush, while PJ is head over heels for the popular cheerleader Brittany (Kaia Gerber). At the beginning of the film, Josie injures Jeff with her car which ignites the rumor that PJ and Josie are ex-convicts of juvenile detention. When threatened with suspension, the duo argues that they were practicing for their self-defense club, which they later put together in hopes of getting Isabel and Brittany to join. Recruiting their friend Hazel (Ruby Cruz), who actually ends up organizing most of the club for them, Josie and PJ are surprised that the club begins coming together, even more so when the members begin to bond and support one another. The film takes a turn, however, when Isabel breaks up with Jeff for cheating on her, leading to a scene of vandalizing, followed by a falling out that tears the club apart. Public humiliation and arguments force PJ, Josie, and Hazel to turn on one another, but when Josie discovers an evil scheme planned by the rival school, she is forced to reunite with the club and fight back.
Bottoms features fantastic comedic elements; it portrays some of the best Gen Z humor while not being overtly on the nose or cringey a few months later. A memorable moment in the film is when Edebiri delivers a stunning and utterly hilarious improvised monologue towards the beginning of the film making its way into a classic example of teen movie comedy. Josie and PJ are also titled the “ugly, untalented gays” which is referenced throughout the movie because while being gay is accepted at their school, being ugly and untalented deems them with unpopularity. In addition to the amazing comedic elements, it also highlights the ups and downs of friendship while delivering a powerful story about women supporting each other.
Not only is this movie a great and obvious satire, but it is filled with lesbian representation which is usually noticeably absent from popular films. This representation is important because it features queer characters of color among its diverse cast and fights the trope where all lesbian stories end in tragedy. Stories like Carol (2015), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), and The World to Come (2020) all end with bittersweet notes, but ultimately the characters suffer great heartbreak throughout the films. Movies like Bottoms are significant because they avoid this popular trope, highlighting new stories and breaking the mold.
The technical aspects of the film are not something to skip over either. The on-location shooting helps this film immensely, helping the audience become absorbed into the story world. Another highlight is the use of color. This film is nothing close to dull as it is filled with tremendous lighting, colorful clothing, and even highly saturated blood. The color compliments the fun tone of the film amazingly and reinforces the young vibrancy of its character.
The combined elements of romance, comedy, and action cement this movie’s position as a new teen classic. It adds so much to the genre while also opening it up for new opportunities, creating space for more LGBTQ+ stories in the future. Giving this a watch is definitely a good idea for anyone who needs a good laugh!