An Important Conversation Rears Its Head and is Ignored by "Bottoms Up" Review

Once we harvest the fat...

Bottoms Up: Rise of the Backside (2014), about the cultural phenomenon of large butts and booty shaking, is confused and understandably so.  Butts are funny while severe self-inflicted injury isn't funny.  Crass culture is funny while objectification isn't funny.  So there's plenty here for everyone to criticize.  The angle from which this particular review will aim its criticism is directors Chris Alvarez and Kurt Williamson failure to follow the darker tones into the truly revelatory areas that scream out for coverage.  The vast majority of Bottoms Up is a VH1 content filler with unknown comedians making ridiculously broad cultural claims intercut with music videos and what little music they could license.  But about twenty minutes into the film, you see in grotesque reality what surgical ass enhancement entails.  From that point onward, the comedians appear tone-deaf and unfunny.  They probably didn't see the footage.  They should have.  The conversation would have taken a different aspect.

Whether it was a choice or not, Bottoms Up doesn't have anyone serious on hand to comment.  When one comedian off-handedly says "She tryin' to better herself", I thought "Where's the feminist?" None of the talking heads in this lineup provide the vigorous attack this phenomenon demands.  They needed someone to address the issues of self esteem, the paradox of attracting attention, and moral judgments (like the "right way" to enlarge your butt) with credentials stronger than being a woman or being involved in a magazine.  The film does delve shallowly into cultural appropriation without challenge.  They laugh about the white girls twerking and contemplate the tastes of white men, but there are no white or Hispanic voices on this panel.  But this is as nothing compared with the gruesome image of this cosmetic surgeon sawing off a young woman's fat and then pumping it back into her ass like a butcher.  Later, in recovery, the woman says "I didn't expect the kind of pain I was going through."  If we keep laughing, nobody is going to know.

DVD Bonus Features

Deleted scenes and extended interviews that do nothing to improve the film.

"Bottoms Up: Rise of the Backside" is on sale July 8, 2015 and is not rated. Documentary. Directed by Chris Alvarez, Kurt Williamson.

Jason Ratigan • Staff Writer

A lawyer-turned-something-else with a strong appreciation for film and television.  He knows he can't read every great book ever written, but seeing every good movie ever made is absolutely doable.  Check out his other stuff on Wordpress.


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