First off, justice for Barb.
Second off, this movie was meh.
In fact, I’d say it was below meh.
You’ve probably already seen how badly this movie is reviewing, especially if you’ve already watched it on Netflix. But let’s dive into it anyway.
Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is about a girl (Sierra Burgess, obviously) who falls in love with a boy from another high school. She’s introduced to this Cute Guy when her school’s resident Mean Girl tries to prank Sierra by giving Cute Guy Sierra’s phone number when he was actually asking for her own. So, Sierra then has to deal with keeping up the appearance that she is the bitchy Mean Girl while simultaneously trying to flirt with this guy and give him a taste of her own personality.
Side note: This is basically supposed to be acceptable catfishing. It’s not though. Not by a long shot.
As she tries to maintain this facade (all in the name of love), Sierra ends up befriending the Mean Girl. Mean Girl actually turns out to be a decent human being who helps Sierra flirt with this boy by pretending to be…herself and Sierra at the same time?
I think you can see where the problems for this movie begin.
So I didn’t even know that this movie existed until the day I saw it. My sister and I were just drinking coffee one weekend morning, when she decided she was going to put some Friends’ episodes on in the background while we had breakfast. Once we got onto Netflix though, the trailer for Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was shoved in our faces.
But…the trailer was good. While the movie itself might not have been great, its trailer is freaking awesome. It made both my sister and me want to watch the movie immediately. If there is an award for trailers, this trailer should win it.
There’s this moment in the trailer where you see Sierra crying and she says something along the lines of “Do you know what it’s like to be a girl in high school and to look like me?” That one line just resonated with me so much, I felt like I had to watch the movie. I mean, most of us are not good-looking people. (I mean that in the best way possible.) And I’m sick and tired of seeing “nerds” and “geeks” and “losers” in movies played by impossibly attractive actors and actresses.
Side note: Anyone else irate at how good-looking Peter Parker is portrayed as being?
But the movie itself diverges from facing the actual problems of loneliness that can plague a below average person in high school, and instead focuses on the strange plot of pretending to be a popular girl at school while said popular girl kind of helps you in your endeavor, all in the name of trying to win over this guy you’ve never really met.
This plot might sound semi-endearing, but it’s not. It’s catfishing, pure and simple. Sierra goes out of her way to deceive this poor guy. Admittedly, she does this because she feels her looks would not entice him, but she is clearly doing him a disservice.
Mean Girl is an odd character, even though she’s probably my favorite person in the whole movie. Her name is Veronica, but I called her Mean Girl because she was exorbitantly mean to Sierra at the beginning of the movie. Like, unrealistically mean. I have never in my life seen someone go that out of their way to be cruel to a person. Except online, I suppose, where anonymity provides the perfect shield for it. Anyway, Veronica changes from Mean Girl to Okay Girl when she elects to help Sierra in exchange for receiving some tutoring from her. They end up becoming friends, at least until things appear to get too serious between Cute Guy and Veronica.
Cute Guy’s name is Jamey, by the way.
Honestly, what did Sierra think was going to happen if she pushed Veronica to keep up the appearance that she was into Jamey? She was practically forcing them to kiss each other.
However, when they do kiss and Sierra sees this, she blows a gasket and does an incredibly vicious social media attack on Veronica.
Don’t worry though. Sierra sings a song of apology to Veronica, and everything turns out okay.
I’m not even kidding.
Oh, and the character of Sierra’s father sounds like he’s desperately trying to be Stanley Tucci from Easy A and failing.
The movie is a mess. It feels like such a missed opportunity to confront body image issues that trouble nearly EVERYONE I KNOW. And it feels like it was written by adults trying to speak like teenagers. (I got a Life Is Strange vibe from the movie.) Plus, Sierra does not face any consequences for her irresponsible behavior. Veronica quickly forgives her for blasting her social image, and SPOILER ALERT, Jamey decides to date her even after he finds out that she was tricking him the whole time.
ALSO there are wildly inappropriate moments regarding consent and deafness. At one point, Sierra kisses Jamey without him knowing it was her. Not only was that unrealistic as fuck, it was also extremely wrong. And in order to keep up the pretense that she is not the person who has been talking to him on the phone, she pretends to be deaf when she sees him face-to-face so that she does not have to speak.
I would not recommend this movie to a person without some forewarning of its shortcomings. I rate this movie a don’t-watch-at-all-unless-you-have-the-patience-for-a-stilted-plot-or-if-you’re-curious-or-if-you-have-nothing-better-to-do-on-a-Sunday-morning.