Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kay Cannon|
|Music by||Mateo Messina|
|Edited by||Stacey Schroeder|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$94 million|
Blockers is a 2018 American sex comedy film directed by Kay Cannon in her directorial debut and written by Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe. It stars Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena as a trio of parents who try to stop their respective daughters (Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, and Geraldine Viswanathan) from losing their virginity on prom night. The title of the film is a reference to the act of "cockblocking", with marketing materials displaying a rooster (also known as a cock) above the title.
The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 10, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 6, 2018, by Universal Pictures. It grossed $94 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its "humor and performances", as well as for "intelligence and empathy" not often found in the genre.
Single mother Lisa Decker drops off her young daughter, Julie, for her first day of kindergarten. She watches on as Julie is joined by two other girls, Kayla and Sam. Kayla's dad Mitchell and Sam's dad Hunter introduce themselves and become close friends after seeing the bond between their children.
Twelve years later, Julie shares with Kayla and Sam that she plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Austin at prom. Kayla pledges to do so as well, though on a casual basis with her lab partner, Connor. Sam, a closeted lesbian, joins the pact to cement the bond with her two best friends. She goes to prom with the harmless Chad.
Lisa sets up a pre-party for the parents and kids. The girls then head to the prom, texting each other about their sex pact. The three parents hear Julie's laptop and intercept the messages. Hunter deciphers their emoji codes, and they realize the girls' pact. Lisa and Mitchell rush to stop their daughters, but Hunter tries to stop them. Hunter shares his intuition that Sam is gay, but at the first party, he sees her force herself to kiss Chad. Wanting to protect Sam from doing something she doesn't want to do, he joins Lisa and Mitchell's crusade.
Having been told that the after-party would be at Austin's house, the parents go there. Instead, they find Austin's parents Ron and Cathy engaging in sex games. After some awkward moments, Ron reveals that the after-party is at a lake house, but refuses to give the address. The trio realizes that Mitchell's wife Marcie may have it, and go back to his house. Against Marcie's wishes, who defends their daughter's rights, they retrieve the address.
As they follow the girls from party to party, it becomes clear that each parent has their own motivation. Mitchell is overprotective and in denial over his daughter growing up. Hunter feels guilty for neglecting Sam during his bitter separation from her mother, who cheated on him. Lisa is struggling to let go of her only child and is offended by Julie's plans to go to distant UCLA.
Knowing that Austin and Ron have been texting, the parents return to Ron's house, intending to grab his phone. After barging in on the couple playing a blindfold sex game, Hunter is forced to go along with it as Mitchell grabs the phone, which reveals that the girls are at a hotel.
At the hotel, a drunk Sam goes to bed with Chad but decides she does not want to have sex, though she does give him a handjob. Kayla and Connor go off together, but she also changes her mind upon realizing her flippant attitude to her virginity, and they limit their sex to Connor performing cunnilingus for Kayla.
When Mitch finds Kayla with Connor, she is initially furious, but ultimately appeased by her father's good intentions. Hunter finds Sam and they also share a tender moment, where he reveals that a good night was the best he could give her in return for his neglect. After, Sam officially comes out to her father, who is deeply moved at being the first person she told. Lisa sneaks into Julie and Austin's room and, realizing how much the two clearly love each other, she sneaks unnoticed, leaving the two alone.
The three adults acknowledge that their own friendships have been strengthened. Their daughters are also closer, with Sam coming out to them, to which Julie and Kayla are extremely supportive. They leave Sam with her crush, Angelica, who shares a romantic kiss with her.
Three months later, Sam and Kayla drive with Julie to California. As they drive away, Lisa starts receiving the girl's group text, filled with plans to get drugs and have condom-less sex. As the three parents run for the car, the girls text that it was a prank, and a final "I love you" to them.
In a mid-credits scene, Mitchell and Marcie are playing the blindfold sex game that Austin's parents had been playing earlier – only to be found by a shocked Kayla.
- Leslie Mann as Lisa Decker, Julie's single mother.
- John Cena as Mitchell Mannes, Kayla's overprotective, emotional, and sports obsessed father.
- Ike Barinholtz as Hunter Lockwood, Sam's absentee divorced father.
- Kathryn Newton as Julie Decker, Lisa's daughter.
- Geraldine Viswanathan as Kayla Mannes, Mitchell and Marcie's daughter.
- Gideon Adlon as Sam Lockwood, Hunter's daughter.
- Ramona Young as Angelica, Sam's crush.
- Graham Phillips as Austin, Julie's boyfriend.
- Miles Robbins as Connor Aldrich, Kayla's prom date.
- Jimmy Bellinger as Chad, Sam's fedora-wearing prom date.
- Colton Dunn as Rudy, an overeager limo driver.
- Sarayu Blue as Marcie Mannes, Mitchell's wife and Kayla's mother.
- Gary Cole as Ron, Cathy's husband and Austin's father.
- Gina Gershon as Cathy, Ron's wife and Austin's mother.
- June Diane Raphael as Brenda Lockwood, Sam's mother and Hunter's ex-wife.
- Hannibal Buress as Frank, Sam's stepfather.
- Jake Picking as Kyler
Blockers grossed $60.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $33.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $94 million, against a production budget of $21 million.
In the United States and Canada, Blockers was released alongside A Quiet Place, Chappaquiddick and The Miracle Season, and was projected to gross $16–20 million from 3,379 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $7.8 million on its first day (including $1.5 million from Thursday night previews). It went on to debut to $20.6 million, finishing third, behind A Quiet Place ($50 million) and Ready Player One ($25.1 million). In its second weekend the film dropped 47.6% to $10.8 million, finishing fourth.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 224 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy – one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 69 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 76% overall positive score.
Brian Lowry of CNN.com found that "the movie gets by on sheer energy" and praised director Kay Cannon for creating "some truly blue sequences and sight gags that yield explosive laughs [and] largely compensate for the arid patches, as do the warm/fuzzy exchanges, which smartly play off the idea of raising your children and then trusting them enough to let go."
Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com gave the film 2 1/2 stars, saying that it is "the kind of comedy one could stumble upon late at night on HBO and thoroughly enjoy, but it strains under the weight of its tonal inconsistencies in a movie theater."
Despite the best efforts of reliable comedic veterans Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz, not to mention a game and always likable John Cena...Blockers becomes less interesting and less funny as the onscreen hijinks grow more outlandish and stupid and demeaning and crotch-oriented.
Describing Blockers as "absurd and funny", Amy Nicholson of Uproxx favorably compared screenwriters Brian and Jim Kehoe to American Pie directors Chris and Paul Weitz as "brothers trying to do right by the sexual politics of the time."
Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out gave the film four out of five stars, calling it "a wonderfully crude film... in which the overall vibe is sweet" and a "hilarious, parents'-eye view of teenage sexuality."
Describing Blockers as "highly dubious and not very funny," Adam Graham of The Detroit News stated that the film "awkwardly tries to balance gross-out gags with tender, warm-and-fuzzy moments. It's a tough trick to pull off, and Blockers gets stuffed at every turn."
David Sims of The Atlantic stated that "Blockers works because of the time it invests in its teenaged characters. Each is a delight, particularly the supremely chilled-out Kayla (who decides to lose her virginity largely on a whim) and the more introverted Sam (who knows she’s gay but hasn’t quite figured out how to tell her friends and family)."
Praising the themes of the film, Ann Hornaday from The Washington Post wrote:
The underlying values of "Blockers" are refreshingly healthy and affirming, proclaimed not only by Kayla's pointedly levelheaded mom (Sarayu Blue)—in a fiery speech about the double standards and the dubious politics of policing female sexuality—but by the girls themselves.
In 2019, the film was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Wide Release. Blockers was among 20 of 2018's 100 highest-grossing films awarded The ReFrame Stamp for recognition in "standout, gender-balanced" films, and also one out of four Stamp recipients with a female director.
The film features the hit single "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld, which appears twice in the film. In her review of Blockers, Insider writer Kim Renfro wrote "The anthem carried throughout the movie, Hailee Steinfeld's 'Love Myself,' drives the message home: 'I love me, gonna love myself, no I don't need anybody else.'"
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