Trying to fall in love with film again.

There is not much to say about 'Sierra Burgess is a Loser' except MEH

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (Original Netflix Sound Track) by ...Story

Sierra Burgess is a smart but unpopular girl who is ridiculed for her appearance. She's given the phone number of Jamey a cute football player by Veronica, the resident popular girl (and teen movie antagonist). the two start talking and find out they really like each other even though Jamey thinks he's talking to Veronica and Sierra has to navigate having feelings for someone who thinks you are someone else.

Watching a story like this play out is like watching a slo-mo car crash. You already know how it's going to play out and when those events play out you can't help but roll your eyes a little because they were so obvious but events need to occur that propel the plot forward. That is not to say that the film is bad, I thought it was okay even though it had every teen movie archetype in the book.

Acting

Shannon Purser is best known for her role as Barb on Stranger Things and Ethel Muggs on Riverdale and on both shows, I wasn't very impressed with her acting and I was hoping to be impressed with this movie and I wasn't. She's not a bad actress but she's not amazing either. I'm hoping she gets a role that showcases her talent but for the most part, her acting was mediocre. Sierra is a likeable character, she's witty and has some depth to her which is wasted by the third act as she makes some decisions that seem very odd for the character that was established at the beginning of the film. She ends up doing something that completely negates any high ground she had at the beginning.

Noah Centineo has been solidified as the internet's boyfriend, something I mentioned in my review of 'To all the Boys I've Loved Before' and you see more of why people adore him so much. He's a very likeable guy and that's obvious with the characters that he plays. Jamey is a really sweet guy who doesn't share that many similarities with Peter Kavinsky (in case you were wondering) but the two do overlap.

RJ Cyler plays Dan, Sierra's best friend and was the much needed comedic relief of this movie. He had the funniest lines and felt the most like an actual character even though there were moments where he needed to dial the extra-ness down a little. Throughout the film he's a good friend to Sierra an even serves as her moral compass throughout the story.

Kristine Froseth gives the best performance of the entire movie. Even though her character is incredibly shallow with a paper-thin backstory, she's the most captivating actor in this movie. She manages to make her emotional moments work as well as her antagonizing moments. Her backstory is in place to make her more endearing and it does work but I expected her to have one like that.

Writing/Direction

As I mentioned earlier, this movie has every teen movie archetype. The writing can at times be very shallow. The movie in itself is somewhat contradictory, the tagline says 'Just be You' but Sierra isn't being truthful for most of the movie. I find that kinda odd.

The writing in this movie is nothing special. The dialogue is exactly what you would expect from a movie like this and most of the characters are one-dimensional, even those with substance like Sierra Burgess and Jamey still play on established stereotypes. I honestly wasn't expecting anything more than that.

Set Design

The film has a filter on it that makes everything look sepia-toned and I'm not a fan. Colour grading is something that matters to me when I watch movies. When a movie doesn't look nice, I'm less likely to give it the utmost attention. Usually, filters like this have a narrative reason for their existence. A good example of this is the Matrix, the scenes look different when characters are in the Matrix and when they're not and that helps you decipher whether they're in the Matrix or not. In this film that tone makes the film look older than it's time. For the first few minutes I was trying to decipher what tie period this film was set in but I noticed things that made it clear, this film takes place in the 2 last years.

Overall the set design is pretty basic, that's not the focus of the movie and except the filter, the sets look like any other movie you have seen a million times before.

Score/Soundtrack 

The score is heavily synthesised which also made me question when this movie was set, it's similar to the music used in Stanger Things. The soundtrack does have some cute songs in it like Butterfly.

Overall Thoughts

When this movie was released, the internet had some issues with it and I can see where those criticisms come from. There are some narrative choices that were made that I don't understand. Some of it was completely disrespectful towards certain demographics in society. There is also a moment that reminded me of 13 reasons why (and I mean that in a very negative way)
This movie is also very cliche, it's not reinventing the wheel in any way shape and form. From the minute you start you already know how it's going to end and it makes me wonder whether the ending was deserved. This story wouldn't play out this was in real life, some say that it's romanticising catfishing and I definitely see where those criticisms come from. Did the film intend this? Probably not, but it's something that can't be ignored when you watch it.

Overall Sierra Burgess works as a Netflix movie, I personally wouldn't pay to see it. It never tries to be more than it is and lives in the teen rom-com pocket. It's not very distinct or memorable but it's fine.

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