Movies and series that take place in high school will always intrigue us. There is nostalgia, of course, but these works also open a window on the reality of young people at the time of their release. Fast Time at Ridgemont High (1982) or American Pie (1999) do not offer an exact portrait of the generations they feature, of course, but these comedies still give an idea of ​​the issues facing students during this period.

Bottoms is no exception. In fact, Emma Seligman’s second feature (the intense Shiva Baby) is smarter than the majority of movies in the genre. It is raw and violent, but above all funny, authentic and full of love.

PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) have known each other since elementary school and are great friends. Their time in high school is coming to an end and they want to try their luck with the girls they have been dreaming of for a long time: Brittany (Kaia Gerber) and Isabel (Havana Rose Liu), two cheerleaders.

Although the premise is conventional, replacing somewhat loser guys with two queer girls changes the dynamic and is refreshing. Seligman and Sennott’s storyline incorporates other classic elements: the football team is king and its players are bullying imbeciles, the principal is pitiful and the quality of teaching is not a priority.

The only teacher we see is Mr. G, played by former NFL player Marshawn Lynch. His comedic natural shines, as he finds himself overseer of the vigilante club formed by PJ and Josie. At first, he is only a pretext to attract girls, but the meetings between them become moments that they cherish, even if they leave with bloody faces.

The chemistry between Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies, The Idol) and Ayo Edebiri (Theater Camp, The Bear, the voice of several animated characters this year) is exceptional. They are clumsy, charming, vulnerable. Their real-life friendship is reflected onscreen. The other members of the club are also endearing and reflect well the different personalities who rub shoulders in harmony – or not – in high school.

The degree of absurdity climbs several notches in the last act and takes us a little away from the sincerity of the emotions, but the whole thing ends in a beautiful way and makes us laugh a lot throughout.