A Loser's Review Of 'Sierra Burgess Is A Loser'
Hello, my name is Lisa and I was a loser at school.
Don't get me wrong, I was social, I played sports, and I had the most amazing group of friends. But I was awkward looking and I resented the fact I wasn't one of the ~beautiful people~ and sometimes bullies liked to remind me of this. Which really really f*cking hurt.
So when I heard that Netflix was releasing a film called 'Sierra Burgess Is A Loser', starring Shannon Purser of Stranger Things and Riverdale fame, I was more than a little excited to finally see the losers of this world reclaim *that* word.
But for me, a loser, I felt like this movie really missed out on having the social impact it could have. Call me naive to go searching for resolve in a made-for-Netflix production...but sometimes movies and films can have that affect on people.
When Sierra (Shannon Purser) enlists popular cheerleader and bully #1 Veronica (Kristine Froseth) to help her catfish quarterback Jamey (Noah Centineo), they strike up an unlikely connection and this to me becomes the most important relationship in the film but ultimately the plot just doesn't do it justice. I'll tell you why.
As Sierra and Veronica start spending more time with each other they actually develop a really sweet friendship but when Sierra spies Jamey kissing Veronica (thinking it's Sierra....bear with me), well, the bullied becomes the bully. This is where it gets murky for me. Sierra then retaliates by publicly humiliating Veronica, Jamey figures out he has been Catfished, and the whole situation goes to sh*t. Basically.
But the neat little rom-com bow Netflix ties on the end of this film does it SUCH a disservice. In the end Sierra and Jamey get the fairytale treatment and head to prom together and, well, Veronica just forgives Sierra without an apology. Wait....what?
Well, today’s the day! Sierra Burgess Is A Loser is finally out on Netflix. I hope it makes you feel seen and understood. I hope it pushes you to be honest and vulnerable, even when it hurts. Thank you for watching xx 🌻❤️ pic.twitter.com/weG5JkRlvg
— Shannon Purser 🌻 (@shannonpurser) September 7, 2018
The message this sends is, if you're an outcast, a misfit, a loser, the thing that is going to make you feel better is getting *the* guy. Everyone's experience is different, but the way I navigated through those awkward af years was through the help of my friends. A group of girls who held me when I cried about that bully who passed a picture of me around the school telling everyone how ugly I was. The friends who made me laugh with a bizarre sense of humour that only we understood. The soulmates who taught me that I can worry about boys later in life and that these friendships will be the thing that gets me out of bed every day, even when I really don't want to.
What I would have loved to see was the focal point on the friendship between Sienna and Veronica rather than giving in to the tropes of rom-coms. Sierra's validation didn't need to come from the quarterback accepting her for the way she looked. Her validation should have come from the beautiful friendship that was born out of helping someone who never asked to be helped.
jamey who?? we all know the real couple was sierra and veronica pic.twitter.com/jjAQp7V5zL
— bianca (@dakotajohlnson) September 7, 2018
I can't write the script to every movie - which is a good thing because they would all end up being Lord Of The Rings fan fic - but for the awkward teenager still inside me somewhere...I'm disappointed for her.
Despite my thoughts on how I wish the film would have played out, I still have a lot of good things to say because I'm not totally unreasonable. Chiefly, it must be said that Shannon Purser delivers such a stunning performance in the title role. She doesn't play into any gimmicks of what a "loser" should act like but rather embodies all of the messy human elements that make up a character that shines a little differently to everyone else. And that shine is so magical. In particular the scene where she breaks down to her parents about how difficult it is to be a teenage girl who doesn't exactly fit the mould, it is heartbreaking, raw and makes this whole movie worth watching. Oh and she has incredible voice which you get to hear a little snippet of.
Excuse me, but @ShannonPurser’s performance in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser deserves some applause. She went from a breakout role in Stranger Things to carving her own path, proving her artistic range, and wowing us all in the process. pic.twitter.com/ZnKh8tf995
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) September 7, 2018
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser is by no means a perfect film but at the end of the day I guess that's the point. We aren't perfect, we're not meant to be. But I definitely urge you to give it a go, if only to raise a glass to the wonderful misfits of this world.
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