Adam B. Vary Senior Entertainment Writer Before the LGBTQ teen sex comedy “Bottoms” premiered at the SXSW Film Festival on Saturday, festival director Claudette Godfrey told the audience in the Paramount Theater to prepare themselves for an experience that defied description, and that’s largely what they got.
The movie stars Rachel Sennott (“Bodies, Bodies, Bodies,” “Shiva Baby”) and Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”) as high schoolers who decide to form a girls’ fight club — technically, a self-defense club — in order to convince the two hottest cheerleaders in school to sleep with them.
What unfolds isn’t quite like any high school sex comedy before it, which was exactly what director Emma Seligman (“Shiva Baby”) — who wrote the screenplay with Sennott — set out to do. “I wanted to create a teen female queer story where the characters were not undergoing trauma but also weren’t these perfect, sweet, innocent beings,” Seligman said in the audience Q&A following the premiere. “We wanted to create messy, complicated, selfish, corny teen female characters that we could relate to.” (Seligman was supposed to premiere her feature directing debut with Sennott, “Shiva Baby,” at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.) Sennott said she also wanted to be matter-of-fact about how much the characters would already know about sex. “Sometimes it’s like the girls discover a vibrator in the couch and they’re like, ‘Oh my god!
What is it?! We’re scared!’” Sennott said. “It’s not that scary. It’s blue. We all have, like, six in the drawer. We just wanted to go there and be real with that.” The SXSW audience roared with laughter throughout the movie, even when the Seligman’s heightened comedic