Missed opportunities are the order of the day with “Blockers,” a surprisingly laughless if heartfelt tale of three young women who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. The movie tries so hard to be progressive by flipping the script from horny teenage boys to horny teenage girls, but the gender-swapped spin still feels old and stale. The movie isn’t bad, it’s just not very funny.

When three suburban helicopter parents (Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz) inadvertently snoop and discover their daughters’ plans for a racy evening, they embark on a covert operation to prevent them from losing their virginity. It’s a very thin premise that’s stretched far too thin with a remarkably lazy screenplay (by Brian and Jim Kehoe) and increasingly desperate excuses for jokes. If you find things like projectile vomiting, flaccid old guy penises, Olive Garden breadsticks, and butt chugging beer all humdingers of hilarity, then maybe this movie will resonate more strongly with you than it did with me.

It’s not really a teen sex comedy either, but more of a unfunny romp about three overprotective parents because the story mainly focuses on these caricatures of actual grown ups. I’m rather glad the film zeros in on the adults because the young actresses (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon) are irritating and have flimsy character development. There is no real world situation where I would believe these girls would be actual friends.

The big name performances are rife with indifference too, with Cena’s over-the-top delivery of near-homophobic “manly man” gags and Mann’s distracting fake CGI tears. The bottom line is that when the one-note Barinholtz is the standout actor on a project, it can’t be a good sign.

“Blockers” is yet another big studio R-rated comedy disappointment. If you want to see an authentically funny, satisfying coming of age female film, just rent “Lady Bird” instead.


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