By Mariah McBride
If you’re anything like me, you practically fell in love with the movie To All the Boys I Loved Before. Lana Condor and Noah Centenio snatched hearts around the world as Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, and it was obvious that Netflix had a success on its hand. There were even whispers that Netflix might revive the rom-com genre as a whole. Maybe that was their goal, because less than a month after the release of To All the Boys I Loved Before Netflix released their next highly anticipated original rom-com. Sierra Burgess is Loser stars widely-acclaimed Riverdale and Stranger Things actress Shannon Purser, as well as Centenio, the newest young adult heartthrob.
In summary, Sierra Burgess is a Loser is about a senior in high school that ends up falling for a boy via text messages and phone calls. I know what you may be thinking – this seems like a normal plot. In our current world of technology, most couples fall for each through phone conversations rather than face-to-face communication. Well, there is more to this story. Jamey falls for Sierra thinking she is a completely different girl, and Sierra doesn’t want to tell him her real identity. In fact, she takes drastic measures to ensure that he doesn’t find out.
This is where the movie has received most of its critique. Viewers argue the film is problematic because it romanticizes catfishing, which has been a big problem for teens and young adults in the world of online dating and social media. The other big problem viewers found was that, according to the plot, Sierra Burgess was a “loser” because of her appearance. Throughout the movie, Sierra Burgess was pretending to be the skinnier cheerleader that Jamey eventually hoped to date. Critics argued this was another story about a girl not being loved because of her weight. Viewers also found more problems with the movie that I will not mention because of spoilers. In the end, I really wanted to do a review about this movie and give my honest opinion from a blank slate; however, I found myself watching the movie looking for every problem that viewers noted on social media. I found them all.
Overall, I felt the movie had a lot of room for improvement. I thought the acting was good; Purser and Centenio did a great job with the characters they were given. However, my biggest problem with the film was the script, as I don’t think the writers kept their audience in mind while creating it. Countless times as I watched, I found myself surprised by some of the actions and conversations taking place. It was clear the script oversimplified and romanticized major issues that their target audience struggles with daily. Consequently, I do not think people would be excited to watch this film again.
Honestly, I would not watch it again. I think this will be a lesson for Netflix and the writers of the film to always keep their target audience in mind.