LGBT Movies: Bottoms (2023)

In Bottoms two lesbian teens start a fight club to meet girls. They’ll tell lies, shed blood and make dangerous enemies. Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri give pitch perfect performances. They fully commit to the comedy, angst and cartoon violence. The screenplay, by Sennott and Emma Seligman, creates a surreal world which grows stranger as the film continues. The tonal shifts from Booksmart banter to Scott Pilgrim battles will alienate some. If you’re willing to ride the roller-coaster, you’ll find one of the funniest queer teen films in cinema history.

Sennott’s braggart and Edebiri’s wallflower are backed by a talented cast of clowns. Havana Rose Liu’s dream girl, Kaia Gerber’s entrepreneur, Marshawn Lynch’s bored teacher, Summer Joy Campbell’s rage demon and Miles Fowler’s queer coded villain all get moments to shine. Nicholas Galitzine’s ridiculous himbo stands alongside Ryan Gosling’s turn in Barbie. For emotional truth, look to Ruby Cruz as the fight club’s most earnest member.  

The 90-minute run time leaves little room for exposition. The film moves fast and Seligman trusts you to keep up. There’s a brief conversation about the reasons the club members enrolled. But we’re primarily asked to enjoy the spectacle and ignore the consequences. There are quibbles. The title is a mistake. The characters are horny but chaste. The ambitious third act nearly spins out of control. But I was never bored. Recent films like The Prom, Do Revenge and Blue Jean reform or paralyze their lesbian heroines. Bottoms empowers queer teens like no film I’ve seen. I’m glad a new generation of rainbow youth gets to enjoy it!

You can find more of my reviews on The AvocadoLetterboxd and Serializd. My podcast, Rainbow Colored Glasses, can be found here.