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Bottoms: The best theatrical comedy in years
& the birth of a new comic auteur
It’s rare to witness a fresh new voice on the silver screen. But that’s what Bottoms was for me. It’s also the funniest film in years and a rebuttal to every tired comedian who says you can’t be politically incorrect anymore.
There are plenty of off-color jokes in Bottoms. Jokes that in overly sensitive circles would earn a trigger warning. But, in this film, there are no apologies, no desire to smooth over ruffled feathers. The joke happens, and we move on to the next one.
Bottoms lives in an alternative reality, a heightened satirical world. You could compare it to such greats as Heathers, Mean Girls, or Election. But Bottoms is very much its own thing, charting its own path. It’s a minor miracle it exists in a world of IP excess.
Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott have natural chemistry, an unforced rapport that calls to mind Michael Cera and Jonah Hill in SuperBad. Ayo is fantastic, a stand-out, and she possesses a sweetness that grounds the film. But it’s Rachel’s character that I found most refreshing. A hilarious gay lead with selfish goals, someone who just wants to get laid. There’s a fuck-you freedom in her performance.
This is writer/director Emma Seligman’s follow-up film to Shiva Baby. A much smaller, intimate comedy/drama that premiered on HBO during the pandemic. It was highly enjoyable, and I assumed she’d continue making similar films.
Finding out she had a broad, satirical film like Bottoms in her back pocket was an exciting discovery. A hint we might be in the hands of a budding comedic auteur.
I can’t wait to see what she does next.
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