Sex is still a major taboo of modern society. As a society we move forward, but certain thoughts and frames of mind retain their place in the average person’s mind. For current American society, sex is a topic that is still grappled with. The dialogue about the act is split down the middle, and “Blockers” embodies that split.
The film stars John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz as three parents who, after discovering their daughters are going to all lose their virginity on prom night, travel across the city trying to stop the daughters from making rash decisions. Most of the humor is built in the plot, with the tension between the parents, and their willingness to do absurd things in order to get to their daughters. One particular moment involves Cena’s character butt chugging to prove that the parents are not cops or narcs.
The secondary plot is the story of the daughters as they all agree that it is time for them to have sex, and for the leading member of the trio, played by Kathryn Newton, sex is something that’s been coming for a long time now. The other two are more jaded towards the notion, with Gideon Adlon’s character hiding the fact that she’s a lesbian and Geraldine Viswanathan as someone looking to experience sex because of the pact the three are making.
The film uses this simple conflict of the previous generation and the new to challenge the ideas of when sex is acceptable in a person’s life. For the younger people, sex is seen as a component of life, and that it should be respected but not glorified. The parents do exactly that, not wanting their daughters to give up something that makes them special.
“Blockers” tries through comedy and clear direction to normalize these conflicting notions of sexuality and relationships in the modern world. There’s no direct emphasis on the coming out story of Adlon’s character, and the story is treated like any other story in a film. It’s not special because an audience hasn’t seen it before, or because it checks off a diversity quota. It is special because it serves the character, and is used in a way that respects both the story and the character it is reflecting.
With a core about being yourself, and to be comfortable with the fact that you may or not be ready for sex at any point, “Blockers” begs to be seen by parent and child alike. While oozing crude humor, the emotional core of the film carries an important message. Things in life, especially sex, are complicated and weird, and all parents and children can do are talk about it, and be honest with one another.