Movie Review: ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’

Cyrano update leaves much to be desired

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Netflix has continued its train of rom-coms with the release of its newest film, Sierra Burgess is a Loser. The film, meant to be a modern version of the classic play Cyrano De Bergerac, was widely anticipated as it followed up on the heels of Netflix’s other teen-flick ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.’ However, the movie that resulted was disappointing, having a weak storyline, one-dimensional characters, and a completely problematic concept. It earns a 1/5.

The biggest issue with the movie is the plot itself. ‘Sierra Burgess’ tells the story of the titular character, a shy teenage girl who’s never really stood out. After a case of mistaken identity and a misplaced phone number, Sierra begins catfishing a football player from another school by pretending to be the popular head cheerleader, Veronica. What follows is a series of increasingly gross moments- at one point, Sierra tricks the boy into closing his eyes so that he thinks he’s kissing Veronica, but in reality, is locking lips with Sierra herself. As the movie progresses, Sierra is eventually found out. Instead of facing the consequences for her creepy actions, however, the movie rationalizes her deception and lets her get the guy in the end. The lack of repercussions for Sierra makes the movie unrealistic, and the main character wholly unlikeable.

The dialogue in the film comes off as try-hard and unrealistic. The screenwriters seemingly shoe-horned as many quirky one-liners and pop-culture references as they could, trading supposed laugh lines for any real substance. The conversations between the high school students are completely pretentious- instead of making Sierra seem intelligent, the way she speaks just makes her seem like a complete jerk. There’s never a moment where you actually believe you’re watching high-school students, making the entire thing unoriginal and inauthentic.

The one winning aspect of the movie would the redemption of the initial villain, Veronica. Veronica transforms from your archetypical ‘Regina George’ mean girl into a character that you actually emphasize for in the end. Jamey, too, is given a winning performance, but this is dulled by the immense feeling of pity you feel for him as you watch him get duped by a completely selfish person. Sierra herself is never someone that the audience would want to see get her way- she’s full of self-importance, takes advantage of others, and treats those who genuinely care about her poorly. Her poorly constructed character elicits little sympathy, as she spends most of the film manipulating the people who surround her.

Put simply, ‘Sierra Burgess’ is a poorly executed attempt to tell a relatable story. There are no winners in a movie where the main character is someone who no-one can root for. The story is vapid, with the ending leaving the viewer with a feeling of bewilderment and disappointment. ‘Sierra Burgess’ is a movie that should have been a success, but instead falls short of expectations.