Charli XCX Curates Cool High School Vibes With ‘Bottoms’ Movie Soundtrack

'Bottoms' movie still © MGM Studios
'Bottoms' movie still © MGM Studios
It wouldn’t be a movie about the LGBTQ high school experience without Charli XCX’s music. The hyper-pop artist included her signature sound on ‘Bottoms’ — the latest teen comedy starring Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri.


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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers regarding songs included in the Bottoms soundtrack. Read at your own risk!

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PJ and Josie are about empowering women.

The hot ones, anyway. Directed by Emma Seligman, Bottoms is, at its core, about two unpopular best friends who create a sort of “fight club” to hook up with cheerleaders.

Bottoms film poster
Bottoms’ film poster

It’s a high school comedy and it’s coming of age adjacent, described by one critic as “walk[ing] a tightrope between sensitivity and insanity (with a knowing bit of inanity).”

Through the lens of PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri), viewers experience the tribulations of having a crush and doing whatever it takes to, well, get any interaction with that person.

Unfortunately, this leads to some gory situations for this makeshift feminism club, as well as magical realizations regarding the importance of friendship — all scored by Charli XCX and Leo Birenberg.

'Bottoms' movie still © MGM Studios
‘Bottoms’ movie still © MGM Studios


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'Bottoms' movie still © MGM Studios
‘Bottoms’ movie still © MGM Studios

There are also sequences featuring already-existing tracks. Standouts include an explosive scene to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler and a complication for PJ and Josie, appropriately occurring to “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne.

These are definitely curated choices and honestly, so smart in a first-of-its-kind teen comedy like Bottoms. Music becomes an integral aspect of most high school experiences.

Any high schooler soundtracked their life to the Hot 100 and/or songs perfectly curated for each moment. For me, that was an Academic Decathlon hype playlist featuring “All Me” by Drake and “One Day More” from the Les Misérables soundtrack. For most people, it was… anything but that.

'Bottoms' movie still © MGM Studios
‘Bottoms’ movie still © MGM Studios


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This musical connection is reflected in cinema’s beloved high school comedies.

Ferris Bueller danced to “Twist and Shout” during his day off. Olive Penderghast belted Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” in the shower for Easy A.

In Bottoms, music doesn’t appear with a fanfare in the traditional sense. It articulated big feelings for these characters in a way that seamlessly matched — and simultaneously parodied — the tone of early 2000s rom-coms. (Avril Lavigne is the voice of a generation for a reason!)

“Party 4 u” by Charli XCX might be the exception to this aesthetic — but, wow, what a seamless inclusion to a film for and about the LGBTQ community. The how i’m feeling now song details the lengths someone will go for their crush. The effort and attention placed on a specific person.

“All I’m thinking, all I know is,
That I hope you knock on my door,
Nervous energy,
My heart rate rises higher, higher up.
I wish you’d get here, kiss my face,
Instead, you’re somewhere far away.
My nervous energy will stay,
I hope you realize one day.”
– “Party 4 u” by Charli XCX

That yearning is a central theme in Bottoms, as seen at a screening party hosted by IHEARTCOMIX and, while the movie is silly and gruesome and raunchy, it also articulates the honest feelings of many high schoolers, especially those grappling with their sexuality.

If you’re a Charli XCX fan, are allergic to pineapples, or have ever wanted to make out with a super hot cheerleader, Bottoms is for you. The flick is slated for a limited theatrical release on August 25, 2023.

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:: connect with Bottoms here ::


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Bottoms film poster

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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © MGM Studios


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