Netflix proves that rom-coms—specifically teen ones—are what they do best.
This post for Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is spoiler-free.
Just three weeks ago, Netflix gave us the hit teen rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the existence of the beloved fictional character Peter Kavinsky—played by Noah Centineo. Today, we are graced by Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018, directed by Ian Samuels) with Centineo starring in the movie as Jamey—Sierra’s (Shannon Purser) love interest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Centineo and his charming self; but this teen movie isn’t about him—it’s about Purser’s Sierra.
The movie—a modern version of Cyrano de Bergerac—follows Sierra and how she gets caught in the middle of a really extreme case of catfishing, where she ends up working with the popular high school girl Veronica (Kristine Froseth) to reach their end goals.
It’s finally great to see Purser play the main titular role in a movie, as all these while she has been known only for her supporting TV roles in Stranger Things and Riverdale. Purser executes the character of Sierra perfectly; Sierra is portrayed as intelligent, and nonchalant towards all the mean judgements that others have about her outer appearance. Sierra does do something that is very predictable and out of character in the second act; and that particular action for me was what made this movie slightly imperfect.
Veronica and her clique of two friends are set up to be the mean girls of the high school—there is literally a Regina George, Gretchen Wieners, and Karen Smith in this movie. Though Veronica does end up transforming herself from a Regina into a pre-plasticised Cady Heron. Froseth portrays Veronica in a way that makes you not want to hate her. In fact, I really liked Veronica, and I sympathised with her because she was ultimately a victim in this movie.
If you came to watch Sierra Burgess Is a Loser for Centineo, I would suggest you to just rewatch To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before because he isn’t in the movie as much as you’d like him to be; there really isn’t much cutesy scenes in the former, as compared to the latter. Centineo’s role of Jamey isn’t given much character depth; audiences only know him as a kind-hearted and good looking jock—which is pretty similar to the character of Peter.
The pacing of the movie was pretty fast, as it was only 20 minutes into the movie where audiences got to see Centineo with his shirt taken off for a classic phone selfie. The first three quarter of the movie was a joy to watch, as audiences got to see Sierra and Veronica bond over their catfishing scheme. The second act where the conflict comes in was timed too closely to the third act of resolution, which in my honest opinion kind of broke the consistency of the movie.
The soundtrack and the score of this movie was really great; so great that I immediately went on Spotify to listen to it after I finished watching the movie. Without spoiling anything, there is a scene where Purser lends her melodic vocals to an original song titled Sunflower for the movie. The song is very meaningful and was definitely written to complement the movie.
Despite certain predictabilities in the story, this movie is definitely a worthwhile watch and you don’t want to miss Purser’s fantastic performance.
Sidenotes on Sierra Burgess Is a Loser:
- Chrissy Metz stars as a stereotypical dance mom in this movie, and it was everything.