Netflix have been releasing their fair share of rom-coms recently. All of them are slightly different, but not so much that you would be bothered about which one you were watching. However, following their latest release, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, I can safely say that this one is very much different.
Sierra Burgess is a Loser follows Sierra (Shannon Purser), a high schooler who is ostracised for being slightly chubby and very clever. She becomes embroiled in a catfishing debacle when resident popular girl, Veronica (Kristine Froseth), gives Sierra’s number to rival school quarterback , Jamey (Noah Centineo).
Some movies just don’t sit right with me. It can be for many reasons: bad writing, horrible plot, bad characters. This movie has some of the worst characters in a rom-com. They’re not badly written, they’re just bad people.
Let’s take a look at Veronica. She permanently is in a horrible mood, and takes it out on everyone within a 5 mile radius. She is rude, conceited and generally, a bad egg. Sierra, however, starts off as a promising lead. She’s strong, she’s resilient and she has no patience for bullies. However, this all changes, and she eventually becomes quite a horrendous human being.
Some people will argue that Sierra represents inner beauty at the start and Veronica represents all things superficial, but I don’t agree. Both of these girls are gorgeous. Both of these girls played along with catfishing a very innocent and lovely boy. Both of these girls make no apology for what they have done: see a pattern here?
As much as this movie tries to make it out to be that both girls were helping each other, they were basically just egging each other on, conspiring together to become the next pair of genuinely horrid people.
Jamey is a genuinely good person, who handles the news in a remarkably demure way. He has been lied to, kissed without his consent, and unwillingly Cyrano’d into a relationship he didn’t want in the first place. Yet – he forgives Sierra and asks her to be his girlfriend. All without an apology!
Let’s not even get me started on Dan. Dan is Sierra’s best friend. He is ditched, lied to, ignored and made to feel unwanted, all because Sierra and Veronica decide to bond over boys! Dan deserves better!
As much as I have highlighted how much this movie glorified being rude, I have to stop and wonder – why should Sierra have felt she needed to catfish Jamey in the first place? At the end of the day, this movie is an overblown metaphor for ‘it’s what is on the inside that counts.’
Yet, in its half-hearted message, it only provides reassurance that non models can get boyfriends. This is not a message that should be spread to teenagers – there are many things in life more important than the affections of another and their attention does not prove your self worth.
As much as this movie has riled me, it also made me interested. The weird, twisted thought processes of teenagers who desperately want to be loved, cannot be explained. Sierra Burgess is a Loser is competent in the fact that it shows the true ugly animosity that infests itself in the high school world. No matter what you do, you’re never quite good enough, and this movie proves that you can be.
This movie, however, could be a mildly okay watch if you could get past the rudeness and the horrible nature of the lead characters. It has a killer soundtrack, the actual writing isn’t too bad and the acting is stellar. It’s scary how good Shannon Purser is at convincing the audience she’s playing the victim, when she’s actually not.
As far as rom-com’s go, there are worse ones out there. Granted, as mean and nasty as the characters may be, it’s an entertaining watch and it really does get you thinking.
There is no doubt in my mind that, after watching this movie, it’ll be on my mind for quite a while. As jumbled as it’s message may be, it’s an okay watch if you want a movie like Mean Girls – but, like, really mean.