Proving once again—especially after last year’s Girls Trip and The Big Sick—that comedies are the undiscovered country for expert (if not Oscar-nominated) acting, Blockers gives the willowy, trembling Leslie Mann two bookends that are, without a doubt, her finest onscreen moments. In the first, she’s offering tame suggestions to her prom-bound, sex-minded daughter (“Mom, are you going to be okay?” the kid asks, legit concerned). In the next, the tears rain down Mann’s face like a shower with robust water pressure—is it even audible?—as she’s saying upbeat goodbyes to a child with college on the horizon.
In between those two scenes comes a wonderfully crude film (we're talking Superbad levels of raunchiness), but one in which the overall vibe is sweet: kids patiently waiting for their parents to grow up already. On the occasion of their daughters' big high-school dance, three fussy helicopter parents (Mann, Ike Barinholtz and a revelatory John Cena, a hulking, teary-eyed mess) become aware of their girls' plan to devirginize. Furious at this "sex pact"—it even has its own hashtag, #SEXPACT2018—the olds decide to mount a counteraction; the movie's title once had another word before Blockers, a synonym for rooster, before advertising standards kicked in.
Snappily directed by debuting director Kay Cannon (a screenwriter on the Pitch Perfect trilogy and, more substantially, TV’s 30 Rock), Blockers brews a bubbling panic among the parents, invading where they shouldn’t and brandi