Honestly, when I heard about a film focusing parents trying to stop their daughters from fulfilling a sex pact on prom night? I cringed. The boys get American Pie where their quest is validated…but for the girls it is all about stopping them? It felt archaic.
Imagine my surprise watching the film Blockers to realize the film makers had similar ideas.
Mitchell, Lisa and Hunter meet on their daughters’ first day of school and become friend. Flash forward and the three are no longer as close of friends as their daughters. Julie, Kayla and Sam have remained the closest of friends and on prom night, they agree to lose their virginity to their dates. Julie is into her boyfriend and wants a romantic moment, Kayla just decides it is time and Sam…well, Sam is wondering if she wants to date boys at all, but she is afraid of losing her friends.
Julie and her mom Lisa are in a single parent situation, and Lisa seems very scared of losing her daughter. Mitchell is a bit of a man’s man who believes he has to protect Kayla from predatory boys. Hunter has largely been absent since divorcing Sam’s mother, but he is sure his daughter is gay and does not want her to regret sleeping with a boy just because she feels pressured to do it.
When the three get wind of their kid’s pact they go on a mission to save their daughters from making terrible mistakes. But through the course of the evening, they start to realize their daughters are not the core problem… Lisa is fearful of not having a close relationship with her daughter, not realizing she has been pushing Julie away. Mitchell thinks he has failed his duty as a protector…and realizing that maybe Kayla is not in need of saving is a scary thing. And Hunter? Well, he actually fears he has let his daughter down so badly, there may be no hope of connecting back to her life.
The film avoids stereotypes, John Cena’s Mitchell is actually pretty playful and kind…and prone to tears. And the film never treats this as a shameful thing. Leslie Mann has the neurotic mother thing down and is quite sympathetic. Ike Barinholt’s Hunter starts out as super obnoxious…but you start to see cracks in the facade.
The film also gives us a totally platonic friendship between Mitchell and Lisa (with her having withdrawn out of finding seeing him with his family as painful as it reminded her of what she feels she has lost). I found all three of the main actresses really likable. They really sell the friendships with the girls. The film also avoids making any of the guys who are the dates awful people. There are no villains in the films beyond the fears of the parents.
Now, the film is incredibly raunchy at certain points. Blockers may be a little to much for some folks. But I found myself laughing throughout the film. The jokes hit and the film has a lot of heart. Blockers was a pleasant surprise that left me entertained.