Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2018. Point Grey Pictures, DMG Entertainment, Good Universe, Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions. Screenplay by Brian Kehoe, Jim Kehoe. Cinematography by Russ T. Alsobrook. Produced by Chris Cowles, Chris Fenton, Evan Goldberg, Jon Hurwitz, Nathan Kahane, Seth Rogen, Hayden Schlossberg, James Weaver. Music by Mateo Messina. Production Design by Theresa Guleserian, Brandon Tonner-Connolly. Costume Design by Sarah Mae Burton. Film Editing by Stacey Schroeder.
Three high school seniors who have been friends since childhood are now about to graduate and go off to college, and their overprotective parents are not dealing with it very well. Tonight is prom night, and when Kathryn Newton‘s mom (Leslie Mann) and Geraldine Viswanathan‘s dad (John Cena) get wind that the girls have decided it’s time to lose their virginity, they go into army reconnaissance mode, joined by Gideon Adlon‘s wildly irresponsible, estranged father (Ike Barenholtz), who thinks the kids deserve to have fun and go wild. The young women make their filthy plans with their dates and two of them are incredibly excited to do the deed, while young and unsure Adlon is eyeing Ramona Young and not sure how to tell her friends about it. The adults, meanwhile, get into all manner of trouble including car crashes and a pretty crazy beer-drinking contest in an effort to find their kids and stop them from doing something they’ll regret. It sounds like a fun American Pie reduxed with parental involvement, in which women get to be as sexually adventurous as teen movies usually let guys be, but what holds this one back from being a solid night of fun is the amazing confusion happening behind the camera. It’s a script written in one tone of comedy and directed in another, with Brian and Jim Kehoe’s humorous situations ruined by director Kay Cannon constantly inserting touching, emotional realism that is frequently out of place and ruins the timing of almost all the jokes; it’s the rare movie that dares to place sincere parent-child conversations next to scrotum closeups, butt-chugging and Gary Cole and Gina Gershon playing naked tag, but the result is not the feast of many riches that is probably intended, but a confused mess. The young ladies are perfectly game in their roles and Mann is, as always, wonderful to watch play her screechy, exasperated persona.