Starring: John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon
Director: Kay Cannon
In suburban America, John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz star as the parents of three teen girls who are best friends and who have grown up together. On the night of their prom, the parents discover that the three girls have made a pact to lose their virginity that night, and they set out to stop their girls, but their plans go hilariously awry.
It’s an R rated comedy, riddled with college humour and awkward situations, as well as sharp dialogue and witty one liners, as the adults try to infiltrate their children’s teen world, and find themselves way out of their depth and always one step behind. And on the whole, it’s pretty funny, though one or two jokes are quite off putting. John Cena once again proves that he’s an interesting and funny newcomer on the comedy landscape, and one that’s not afraid to make fun of himself and his persona. Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz also hold their own, and the three make a good comedy trio. That chemistry is well spent in scenes that are a lot more emotional and heart felt than you might expect in a film like this, and those scenes are a lovely addition to this comedy.
Although the adults are the main focus of the film, the three girls often steal the show. They feel genuine and real, not just the McGuffin to their parents plotline. They have their own narrative arcs (including a nicely explored subplot about coming out as gay) and they have some really sparkling dialogue too. Their friendship is really nicely realised and is quite sweet.
The film also does address the problem that the idea of blocking your daughter from having sex is pretty sexist. It ends up moralising that teaching your daughter to be confident and strong means she will make the right decisions about what she wants to do, with self esteem. It was a neat way of exploring a generation gap about attitudes to sex, and it handles them quite sweetly, which was another nice touch.
On the whole, the film is probably a lot funnier and a lot sweeter than you might think, but the humour can be a bit off putting in parts, and the film did lose me a bit in the middle for that reason, before reeling me back in.
See It If: you like college humour type comedies. It’s a film that has some really nice, emotional moments and some genuine laughs, but has it’s flaws too.