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Linden’s Cut: ‘Bottoms’ is ‘Fight Club’ meets ‘Superbad’

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Rose Donnelly

When I first heard the premise of “Bottoms” I wanted to see it as soon as I could, and my enthusiasm only heightened further after widespread praise at South by Southwest earlier this year. After months of waiting I finally got to see it and although I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to, it is still a great comedy you should definitely see.

“Bottoms” is directed by Emma Seligman (“Shiva Baby”) and focuses on two unpopular lesbian high school seniors that start a fight club to impress cheerleaders but their plan comes with some unexpected results.

In many ways, this film reminded me of the comedy of “Superbad” meeting the wildness of “Fight Club.” Josie and PJ are unpopular in high school just as Seth and Evan were in “Superbad” and they attempt to do something that makes them stand out. “Bottoms” also has some “Fight Club” vibes to it in which they focus on two characters starting a fight club that goes in surprising ways.

The biggest praise I can give this film is the chemistry between PJ and Josie, played by Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edibiri. Their chemistry is believable, hilarious and relatable. Former Seattle Seahawks runningback Marshawn Lynch was also a hilarious addition to the cast playing as their teacher/advisor. Without giving the final act away, it’s bloody, wild, over the top, and incredibly funny.

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I do have a major issue with this movie and this was an issue before I even saw it – the ages of the cast, particularly Sennott, Edibiri and Nicholas Galitzine who plays as a high school football player. While all three are great in their roles, they are too old to play high schoolers and are old enough to be teachers at this point. Sennott and Galitzine are 28 years old and Edibiri is 27 years old.

This is a part of an issue I have with other portrayals of high schoolers in the media. In the hit HBO series “Euphoria”, one of the cast members is Alexa Demie and she is in her 30s playing teenager Maddy Perez. While she gave a terrific performance in the show, it’s hard to actually see her as a high school student. Another example is Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” While Garfield is absolutely excellent in the role, he was in his late 20’s when the film was released and when he was starring in “The Social Network,” he played a college student so it’s hard to believe that Garfield is a high school student when he played a college student two years prior. 

There is someone I personally know that is a year younger than Galitzine and he teaches at a high school. I think the best age for an actor to play a high school student should be between 15 and 22 years old. Actors in these roles should be no more than 25 years old. This is an issue when someone is in their mid 20s playing a high school student because it doesn’t come off as believable. It’s also pretty easy to tell that they look like they graduated from college.

Despite some issues with the ages of the cast members, “Bottoms” has laughs, heart, and a bit of blood. It is still a highly entertaining high school comedy that will also remind you of other really good high school comedies earning it a B+.

Commentary writer Linden Lansberry can be reached at [email protected]

If you would like to submit a reaction to a piece, Letter to the Editor or other submission, please send it to commentary editor Price Wilborn at [email protected] or [email protected].

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