Netflix, this past weekend, released Sierra Burgess Is A Loser starring the hot actor at the moment, Noah Centineo. Sadly, Noah Centineo coming in hot back-to-back can be a bad thing as well as a good thing when it comes to releases. One of them is bound to be subpar compared to the other.
And, of course, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was exceptionally better than Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. Now, the film wasn’t bad, it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad. We will explain why, but first and foremost – let’s talk about the premise of the film and the characters (and actors).
So, the premise of the film is generally as basic as you can get. The over-used popular mean girl trope character, Veronica picks on Sierra Burgess all the time. A very attractive guy, Jamey asks Veronica on a date and she gives him Sierra’s number from a poster she ripped off the bulletin board. Pretty classy, right?
Sierra then starts texting Jamey and they begin to have feelings for one another. Jamey thinks it’s Veronica, so Sierra makes a pact with Veronica and thus the game begins. Sierra is supposed to be the loser character in this film; the one who is in band, never had a boyfriend, has one friend collectively, you know… the whole loser trope.
Veronica is the popular girl, who wants to date a popular guy, who appears to have a marvelous life. On one hand, Sierra is the loser character – however, she ends up with Jamey so does that still make her a loser?
So, What Is Up With Sierra Burgess Is A Loser?
What makes this film a blunder is the obsession with a guy in every film we have nowadays. Kissing Booth,To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and every other rom-com released in 2018. Not every loser main character has to have a guy alter them. And, then suddenly that makes them either cool or otherwise happy because of it. Not saying a loser can’t turn cool, but who cares about labels, anyway?
They don’t need a guy to be happy, ever. That should not be the lesson learned. The mean popular girl doesn’t have to have the worst family in the world either to prove that is why she’s a mean person. That does not justify why she should be mean to Sierra, ever.
She can make her own decisions and actually try and be nice despite her setbacks and the film never truly shows that. We get a glimpse, but nothing substantial. The film doesn’t progress to show that you don’t need a boy to be happy, you won’t let your setbacks hinder you and make you something you are not, and it doesn’t really let us know why we shouldn’t care about who is popular and who is not.
It is 2018, those stereotypes don’t exist anymore. There’s no “popular” and “loser” crowd and they don’t really bully you like how films show. Kids get bullied, and some may be called a loser; but, films show it on a very minuscule level. And, showing that a viewer should have sympathy for a bully because their home life isn’t great is a corrupt way to look at it.
The Pacing Is Also Too Fast
Within the first fifteen minutes, Sierra is already texting this magical person. Now, I know films move fast – but, the pacing was extremely quick. The relationship between Veronica and Sierra is what I wanted the film to be based upon. Their relationship development was the best part of the entire film. I want just a film based around that, #GirlPower.
These characters – we didn’t really get to know well enough to care about. They were developed too quickly, and by the same token, they weren’t developed well either. Jamey, we know the bare minimum about. All we know is that his brother is deaf and he seems like a good guy.
At least on the surface level of things. In other areas, we get a scene of Veronica calling Sierra names and then the next scene Sierra is tutoring her at her house. But, why couldn’t Veronica go over Sierra’s house if her house was that bad? Some of the events are blurred and not explained. Or maybe they were and we just missed most of them.
There Is Good Amongst The Stereotyped Trope, However
The love arc was okay. Again, Noah played Peter Kavinsky, who he will forever be compared to no matter what happens now. His part in the film wasn’t half-bad; he was a classic football player, sweet guy underneath trope. The cool guy who is friends with everyone, even the nerds. Now, the best friend, Dan, was probably the best character in the entire film.
Dan kept it light, kept it real, and above all else – tried to keep Sierra from being… a dimwit. It didn’t help. But, he tried and that is what matters. I didn’t mind the acting, it didn’t have any awkward spots like TATBILB, at times, did. So, that was an upgrade in the scheme of things.
What Happens Next?
Jamey finds out and the Sixteen Candles climax begins. Both, Sierra and Veronica get their heart-to-heart from their parents and learn to be okay momentarily. Homecoming comes and Jamey with the Jeep (what looks like a Jeep, but probably wasn’t) and boombox outside of Sierra’s door is there waiting for her. He has a speech planned and everything – then they kiss.
At the end of the film, Sierra ends up with her guy, Veronica gets her guy, and even Dan has a date. They all become pals and hug and bam it was that easy. You just have to pretend you were texting the wrong guy, go through the hardship of blackmailing the popular girl in school, force her to go on dates with the guy, and then magically mess it up within a span of a five-minute football game.
Last Thought Bubble About Sierra Burgess Is A Loser
While this film was sort of like Kissing Boothfor me, but a better version of it that was not so problematic. There were salvageable moments in this film, I can’t say that for Kissing Booth. Jamey’s brother being deaf was a great conversation to have.
However, Sierra pretending to be deaf was a buzzkill to essentially make fun of the character and pretend to be like him because she wanted to avoid a guy. Veronica and Sierra’s relationship was fantastic. The best arc of this film was their relationship. Sierra Burgess Is A Loser should have been centered on the fact that strong females can be friends no matter who they are. Instead, they only became friends for a guy and blackmail.
Stay Away From The ‘Bigger Question’
The ending “What Did We Learn?” was very…
“If you’re a loser, pretend to text a guy and be a catfish, then blackmail the girl he thinks you are, then keep lying, become friends with the bully by blackmail, follow them everywhere, kiss him (despite her hands feeling entirely different than Veronica’s), and only then you will get swept off your feet.”
The bigger question is missing. Like in TATBILB we get that we need to experience more and not be afraid of things. No matter what we think we are afraid of, we can tackle it. Even if its love. And, it can be magical. This rom-com, instead, showed that a loser needs a popular guy to like her to then be happy. And, also blackmail, lots and lots of blackmail.
Just like Kissing Booth, don’t ruin friendships over a guy. It’s not worth it. If you get mad at your friend over a guy, he isn’t worth it. Friends are true, real, and genuine. That is not the only guy you need in your life or you’ll die. There’s more of them everywhere.
Friends are important, too. You can have both.
Final Disclaimer On Sierra Burgess Is A Loser
Now, I am well above the age this movie is marketed for. Above the age of 21 and I am assuming this is meant for ages 15-17, maybe 18. And, once you get older things become less ‘rose-colored glasses’ and just become ‘glasses.’ I am able to see the problem areas with these films. And, not in a way that bashes them just to bash them. I didn’t bash Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, but I did bring the problem areas to the surface.
This film could be enjoyable if you are between 15-18. You may get giddy and excited – however, read between the lines of these films. While they are just that, they are giving you a bigger meaning. And, sometimes, the meaning isn’t a great one.
But, by all means, if you enjoyed the film – I have no issue with that. Nonetheless, such as the Kissing Booth, it’s not for everyone.