As a bottom, a homosexual, a Gemini, and a certified fan of the Queerleader archetype, I had to stop everything I was doing today when the full-length Bottoms trailer dropped. Take a look for yourself:
Written and directed by Emma Seligman (Shiva Baby), Bottoms follows Josie (Ayo Edebiri) and PJ (Rachel Sennott, who co-wrote the film alongside Seligman), two unpopular queer high school students who start a fight club…disguised as a self-defense training club…under the guise of hoping to hook up with hot cheerleaders. It’s an absurd premise with an absurd trailer to match: horny, bloody, campy bodily mess. I promptly watched it five times in a row, because there’s just so much zaniness and verve packed into the two minutes.
Based on the trailer and early film fest reviews, Bottoms appears to be a send-up of and homage to teen sex comedies with a lot of bite. It’s poised to be a teen sex comedy that’s queer as fuck and narratively fresh (even if some of the jokes in the trailer replicate some of the laziest genitalia-based humor rampant in the genre, an area in which I’m hoping there could be more nuance to in the full film). Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch, American Horror Story(ies)‘ Kaia Gerber, Havana Rose Liu, and Willow‘s Ruby Cruz provide supporting performances.
While I would have liked to see more lesbian makeouts in the trailer, I am in awe of the violence in it!!!! It certainly — and literally — isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to its fight club premise, and I for once cannot wait to watch teen girls beat the hell out of each other. A sex comedy with stylized body horror? Sign me right on up!
I’ve been obsessively tracking this movie since I first heard of it, eager to add a full-length blurb for it to my ongoing timeline and cultural analysis of the Queerleader trope in film and television when it does release more widely this August. Reviews out of SXSW this year sound promising! I’m excited to see how the film pushes the boundaries of the sex teen comedy genre and of the Queerleader as a filmic trend that has piqued my interest for a long time. As a reminder, Elliot Page and Devery Jacobs are also involved in a different Queerleader movie called Backspot. We are finally living in the golden era of the Queerleader, and I cannot wait to get loud about Bottoms!!!! Queer friendship, unwell crushes, the violence of teen girls, and really good striped shirts — this trailer has so many of my favorite things.