‘Bottoms’ (2023) review: this over-the-top satire is desperately needed for the queer community

Weirdly enjoyable

Bottoms is an enjoyable film, whilst still having room for improvement!

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Going into this film, I did not expect the amount of gore put in there, so be warned – this was truly a Fight Club experience if it was made by queer teenage girls desperate to get hit in the face by hot cheerleaders. It stars Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby, 2020) and Ayo Edebiri (The Bear, 2022-) as the main characters which was an amazing casting choice, made by Maribeth Fox.

In Bottoms, we follow the story of PJ and Josie Marks – two teenage lesbians at the start of their senior year who are keen to get attention from the hot girls. Josie has an interest in Isabel (Havana Liu) who is dating their beloved school’s star football player, Jeff (Nicholas Faltzine), and PJ has her eyes on Isabel’s best friend, Brittany (Kaia Gerber). They are desperate to win over their crushes, which is hard since they are described by their principal as ‘ugly, untalented gays‘. And, to add insult to injury, they’re not well-liked after hitting football star Jeff with the car.

Credit: via Orion Pictures

However, they succeed in a way, by creating a safe space for girls with the help of their friend Hazel (Ruby Cruz), where they can learn ‘self-defence’ through hitting each other as violently as possible. We get to see different relationships develop through the most bizarre events, mostly based on lies – PJ and Josie’s made-up story of being in juvie started it all. Their interactions with other people are the most awkwardly hilarious scenes, and at times caused me to cringe.

Bottoms is an over-the-top satire film, which was desperately needed for the queer women community. It has a fresh take on girls being attracted to girls, with bad jokes and lack of tragedy being the main focus. In this film, they are able to express themselves and their desires openly, whilst also exploring themes such as feminism and toxic masculinity.

“Feminism, who started it?

a) Gloria Steinem

b) A man

c) Another woman”

The group of jocks in the movie are portrayed satirically, and though they seem ridiculous at times, they still pose a threat. They are intimidating and prone to violence – as evidenced by a football game against a rival school. However, in this film, girls are allowed to answer the same way. They are allowed to be angry and make stupid unhinged decisions which is incredibly refreshing and pleasing to watch.

The visuals and the costumes come together to create this enjoyable film. There’s of course room for improvement, with the never-fully established clear tone of the film, and the lack of consistency with the world building and their ambition for it. It seemed like the producers couldn’t quite decide between making it a relatable, and completely unrealistic satire film. It doesn’t seem to be for everyone, which is completely fair – I enjoyed it regardless, however, I do not plan on rewatching it. It was good in one dose and I would like to remember it that way.

Concluding it, the best part of the whole film was the Blooper Reel at the end – which should be mandatory for every film going forward! The actors clearly had fun during the production which is an important factor in letting them release their creativity and allow them for improvisation (one of the best speeches coming from Josie as she and PJ get in the car close to the start of the movie was improvised by Ayo Edebiri!). I recommend it if you enjoy raunchy humor, and are looking for a queer satire film!

Bottoms is hitting UK cinemas soon, check out the trailer below – 


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