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tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2
tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Though I am no movie buff, Bottoms, directed by Emma Seligman, is a movie that I can confidently say everyone has to see at least once. Starring Rachel Sennott (PJ) and Ayo Edebiri (Josie), the film follows two “ugly, untalented gays” as they start a fight to up their social status. The best friends navigate taboos ranging from virginity to high school bullying, though their friendship itself isn’t all smooth sailing. Funny, heartwarming, and provocative, Bottoms is undoubtedly one of my favorite films of the year.

Characters Josie and Hazel stole my heart from the very beginning. Maybe it’s because I am a chronic people-pleaser myself, but I can’t help but sympathize with the two as they get pushed around by PJ. Regardless of circumstance, both girls are compassionate and care about their friends, even when they get caught up in the occasional lie. The audience sees the pair grow throughout the film as Josie becomes more confident in herself and her social abilities and Hazel realizes how valuable she truly is. 

Though many of the characters are likable and easy to sympathize with, others definitely rub me the wrong way. PJ starts off as funny and relatable, while she and Josie attempt to talk to their crushes and fail. However, as PJ continued to manipulate her friends, my opinion of her started to change. She continually fails to take accountability for her actions and, as a result, hurts the people around her. I found the portrayal of PJ as the heroine particularly problematic as she has a narrow character arc, ending the film in essentially the same place she had started. PJ was a little full of herself and clearly in way over her head, but — in all fairness — she’s just a teenager dealing with the struggles of high school romance, friendship, and stereotypes. Although this is not to say that Rachel Sennott didn’t play her part well; PJ’s less palatable traits exist to force us to think critically as an audience. 

It’s clear that the crew put immense effort into the details behind each character. The costumes throughout the film were well thought out and each character had a style that was utterly unique to them. The styles ranged from Josie’s rugby-inspired looks to Hazel’s Breakfast Club era outfits, and even to Isabelle’s staple soft-girl wardrobe. I particularly enjoyed how the identities of the football players, the typical stars of teen movies, were reduced with their limited wardrobe of team uniforms. This choice was a playful reversal of typical coming-of-age story tropes and overall worked well for the plot. Each character ultimately stands out as authentically themself because of the thoughtful costume design. 

Producers clearly thought about their characters’ appearances, but there was also heart and soul put into the script to make it relatable and realistic. I’m sure we can all attest that high school is long and tiring, but having a crush that you know you’ll pass in the hallway can make it exciting. Your friends judge you for staring too long or for telling them that you made eye contact today as if you could really be head over heels for someone you only talk to when they ask what the homework was. Bottoms manages to capture just that. 

The satiric approach the film took on teen love is appreciated, especially being that it is all too often that queer romance is hypersexualized by the media. Sapphic relationships are frequently written in a way that fetishizes lesbians in order to appeal to the male gaze. The film combats this by tastefully poking fun at societal norms and harmful stigmas in a way that other films simply can’t recreate. Awkward and often uncomfortable to watch, Bottoms is a more realistic representation of teenage relationship oddities. This is clearly “must-see movie of the year” material if you like to laugh so hard you cry; reminiscent of an early 2000s comedy movie, I can guarantee that Bottoms will never get old.

sam shmia

Pace '26

Sam Shmia is a staff writer for the Her Campus chapter at Pace University. She writes on entertainment, including movies, music, live shows, and more. She joined Her Campus last year but hopes to expand her involvement in Her Campus this year. Sam is a sophomore majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. She is on the editorial team for Pace’s Aphros literary magazine. Sam plans on going into publishing and becoming a free-lance author. She loves to go to different events hosted by many different clubs, even if she isn’t a member of the club. She enjoys writing fiction for class and for fun. When she isn’t doing school-related activities, Sam can usually be found reading or hanging out with her friends. Her favorite book at the moment is Powerless by Lauren Roberts and her favorite author is Sarah J. Maas She loves listening to music and going to live shows. Sam’s favorite artists include Taylor Swift, Lorde, Hozier, Sabrina Carpenter, etc. She spends her summers as a Camp Counselor in Georgia, and her time at home, in Florida, working at Barnes and Noble.
Emma Frederickson is a writer for Pace’s chapter of Her Campus. This is her second year writing for the magazine, and she consistently covers topics ranging from sustainability politics to pop culture. Emma is HC at Pace's chapter president for the 24-25 academic year. Outside of Her Campus, she is completing her undergrad as a Communication and Media Studies major with a minor in Peace and Justice, and hopes to eventually get a masters degree in Publishing. She is an active member of several other organizations including Pace Sustainability Initiative and the Pace Honors College. Emma hosts a weekly podcast, And They Were Roommates, on WPUB radio. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Bowery Residents’ Committee. In her personal life, Emma has a passion for clothing and can always be found thrifting somewhere in the city. She can also be found reading or doing yoga on days where she is not out and about. On the weekends, Emma enjoys curling up and watching a movie with friends. Otherwise, she can be found traveling home to Easton, Pennsylvania for a much needed visit with her pup!