The girls of Blockerspose with their prom dates.Image: Universal PicturesIt'd be incorrect to say there's never been a movie like Blockers before. It's a teen sex comedy in the vein of American Pie or Superbad, with a similar focus on teens trying to get laid on prom night.
But it's certainly true that the specifics of Blockers make it a rarity.
For starters, the horny high schoolers in questions are girls, not boys. The story belongs just as much to their parents, who are desperate to stop them. And the filmmaker at the helm is a woman – Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon, making her directorial debut.
"I really wanted to tell the story from a female perspective," she told Mashable over the phone. "I felt like it hadn't been told before."
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Blockers didn't originate with Cannon. The script by Jim and Brian Kehoe first landed on the Black List in 2012, when it was still called Cherries and revolved around three dads desperate to stop their daughters from losing their virginities.
However, Cannon gave it her own spin when she got ahold of the script a few years later. One of the dads became a mom (Leslie Mann's Lisa). More crucially, the daughters were upgraded to co-leads instead of supporting players. "I wanted the audience not to be sure of who they were gonna root for," she said.
Blockers is the celebration of sexual agency that we need in 2018
The result is an uproarious comedy that's smarter than it looks, and slyly feminist in its sexual politics. Though Blockers was in the works long before #MeToo, it feels like a much-needed tonic to our fraught sexual landscape. If #MeToo and its related movements remind us about the dangers of male sexual entitlement, Blockers celebrates the joys of female sexual agency, particularly for girls who are just learning how to wield it.
"There's still this idea that young women are damsels in distress," said Cannon. "And then when you hear bad things that happen to young women, whether it's on a college campus of whatever, their fear just gets fueled."