First Hit: There are some very funny scenes although at times they felt too staged.
Anyone that has been a parent to a teenager and any teenager, can and will appreciate, laugh, and smile at many of the setups and scenes in this film.
Lisa (Leslie Mann), Mitchell (John Cena), and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) have daughters who meet up in grade school. They are going to be lifelong friends.
Julie (Kathryn Newton) is Lisa’s daughter and doesn’t have a father. She and Lisa are very close and it is obvious that when Julie leaves for college, Lisa will be alone. Oddly we have no idea how Lisa financially survives so well. The only hint is that Julie is the product of a famous rocker.
Mitchell’s daughter is Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan). Her mother Marcie (Sarayu Blue) is a strong feminist who runs the show in their house. However, Mitchell has a close relationship with his daughter and guided her to become physically strong and confident, like him. Sam (Gideon Adlon) is Hunter’s daughter. Her parents are divorced and Hunter has been less active in Sam’s life recently.
Together the three girls decide to lose their virginity on Prom night as a way to do something momentous together prior to leaving high school and going off to college. The parents learn about this plan and decide to stop the girls from making, what they think, will be the biggest mistake of their lives.
The film takes you on this journey of them trying to find their daughters, how they confront their daughter’s choice in men, and what they ultimately learn. Conversely the movie also shows how the daughters find what makes them strong fine human beings and their honesty with each other.
The upside is that there are numerous out-loud funny scenes and situations. The downside is that there are moments that seem overly set up. It is almost like they looked at the script and said, the next scene we’ll do this, then they did the scene. It felt blockish at times.
Mann is always interesting because she can be very funny in a very straight sort of way. She’s quirky, goofy, and funny. Cena was funny and his physical size and presence was put to good use in this film. That he wore his phone in a hip holster added to his goofiness. Barinholtz was good and his final scene with his daughter was wonderful. Newton was excellent as Mann’s daughter. Viswanathan was wonderful as a young girl ready to try anything while mindfully figuring out what is appropriate for her. Adlon was perfect as the young girl finally acknowledging her sexuality to herself, friends, and father. Ramona Young was very good as the young girl who entices Sam to come into her own. Blue is wonderful as the strong mother. Miles Robbins (as Connor, Kayla’s boy choice) was excellent. Graham Phillips (as Austin, Julie’s boy choice) was very good. Jimmy Bellinger (as Chad, Sam’s original choice) was hilarious. Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe wrote a good script, it just felt too set up at times. Kay Cannon directed. Her strength was making funny scenes funny but some scenes were too pre-setup.
Overall: If you want to laugh at some silliness, this movie will provide the laughs.