Review: Bottoms (2023)

During September, I resigned myself to the sad reality of not being able to see Bottoms in theatres, but by a stroke of good fortune, my small-town multiplex, gave the LGBT comedy a brief run with semi-convenient session times for its November 30th Australian release.

In a violent scheme to bed some babes before graduation, two queer high school students, and best friends, PJ and Josie, start a fight club under the guise of “empowering women, but only the hot ones” to reword the film’s tagline, which elevates the duo from unpopular to an almost cult-like status among their peers.

To say that Bottoms comes in the tradition of sex comedies like Superbad, American Pie or even earlier classics like Little Darlings, would be a fair statement, but the film’s inverted style results in one of the most unique entries in the popular sub-genre. Laced with satire, and sprinkled with self-aware humour, it’s a hyperbolic comedy with very punchy (no pun intended) dialogue that makes me want to re-access my entire vocabulary and vernacular.

Bottoms is the second feature film from writer/director Emma Seligman, who reunites with Rachel Sennott from Seligman’s 2020 debut title, Shiva Baby. Sennott stars and co-writes; her comedic timing and hilarious monologues deliver a larger-than-life protagonist. I have my fingers crossed we end up with a trilogy from these two.

Ayo Edebiri rocks some casual 70s Blacksploitation vibes as Josie, who is kind of the ‘straight guy’ to PJ’s antics, contributing a lot to the comedy as does the supporting cast, such as the sought-after Brittany and Isabel (Kaia Gerber and Havana Rose Liu). Both of them are stereotypical but honed so well by their respective actors to suit the script.

Favourite Character: Hazel – An unacknowledged third-wheel on PJ and Josie’s apple cart, played by Ruby Cruz, who just tries to be nice to everyone, despite often lingering in the background. There is a depth of feeling to her character allowing the viewer to easily latch on.

Favourite Line: “I heard you guys ate literal shit and killed girls in juvie.”

Where can you watch Bottoms in Australia? Well at present its kinda in limbo between theatres and streaming, so I recommend using a VPN to access the movie on Amazon Prime (USA) – which is where it’s likely to stream for us Down Under, but considering it was distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Warner Bros, it may end up on Binge given the platform’s the plethora of WB content.

(2023, directors: Emma Seligman)


production stills provided by Warner Bros. Australia 



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