Sierra Burgess is
a loser not worth your time. Here’s why:
I loved everything but the plot. The movie has a fantastic cast, great sets, the music is awesome, it’s well produced, and there is solid cinematography…. but the storyline is so bad and ultimately the story is all that matters.
To sum it up – it’s a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. Popular girl Veronica gets asked out by this guy named Jamey and instead of giving him her number, she gives him “loser” Sierra Burgess’s number. Sierra ends up pretending to be Veronica all the while falling in love with Jamey. She and Veronica form a team to help each other out and there are lots of catfishing hijinx until it explodes in Sierra’s face. But don’t worry this is a rom-com so it all works out and obviously Jamey and Sierra go to homecoming together.
Take this quote from Vulture – “Sierra Burgess is an otherwise derivative teen comedy that aims to be Cyrano de Bergerac with smartphones and falls somewhere far more boring and creepy.”
Creepy is a great word to describe this movie. It wasn’t a funny cringe – it was a ‘get me out of here, I hate this’ cringe.
Part of what makes it so frustrating is that there are so many wonderful little moments that actors Noah Centineo and Shannon Purser create. I really love this headline from Vox – “Peter Kavinsky and Barb from Stranger Things can’t salvage Sierra Burgess Is a Loser”.
They try so hard to make it work. Centineo and Purser are a killer combo. They have the skill set to elevate this movie and the profile to give it credibility, however, they can’t save bad writing. Both of them are better than this movie and I would like to see their agents get them projects they are worthy of.
I could not watch this movie without pausing it and having to walk away because I really disliked what was happening on screen. I have a very strong aversion to catfishing. It’s just gross to me. I really have no sympathy for the catfisher. I think it’s really mean and quite awful. It feels like a twisted version of cyberbullying – because the person on the other side will end up extremely hurt.
There is this awful kiss scene – where Veronica tells Jamey to close his eyes before they kiss. She then switches places with Sierra who then proceeds to kiss Jamey. This is not romantic. It’s deceitful and I’ll join the chorus of people on twitter who are saying that this is not consensual.
I don’t know how to express how strongly I dislike that this movie is trying to romanticize something it is straight up not appropriate and not something I want young people to think is ok.
Additionally, we’ve got a really gross moment near the end where Sierra hacks into Veronica’s Instagram and cyberbullies her. Plus a weird storyline where she pretends to be deaf… I’m not into it.
So, in summary, we’ve got a story with manipulation, backstabbing, and questionable consent.
However, it has Noah Centineo…
I’ll admit there are a few things this movie did that make me smile. I think that’s why I’m so frustrated with this movie. I want to love it so much.
The casting was fantastic. We get Shannon Purser and Noah Centineo. They are both wonderful and I want them to go on and have rich careers.
In the teen movies 2018, we are blessed with the teen stars of 1980s gracing our screens again – as parents. Shoutout to Cameron/Alan Ruck for playing the dad.
I appreciate that they are trying to show us that it is what’s inside that counts. There are so many questionable moments but it is nice to see a girl that is not the traditional look connect with a boy and then get the boy. The song Sunflower will melt my heart. I know a lot of girls that would empathize with the thought that if they had a specific look, boys would like them more.
This is the one moment that I think is well written – and it’s a song. So perhaps that’s what we should stick too.
I’ll relisten to the song over and over but let’s all forget the movie ever happened.
So Netflix – here’s what I want. I want a movie with Noah Centineo and Shannon Purser that isn’t creepy. Good try – but this was a swing and a major miss.