If you’re anything like me, your heart does a little dance anytime Netflix comes out with a new rom-com (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before anyone??) Whenever Netflix drops one of these bad boys, they are IMMEDIATELY added to my list, and are binged that weekend, complete with cozy pjs, blankets and pillows.
Usually when Netflix does a rom-com, they do it well, which means that tears will be shed–both happy and sad–and by the end I’ll be wishing I wasn’t forever alone. So when I heard that Netflix was delivering yet another teen rom-com, I was excited. After watching Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, I wasn’t left with my usual mixture of feelings, instead I was left with confusion and disappointment. Here are ten major reasons why Sierra Burgess Is A Loser should NOT be your new fav rom-com.
-To start off, this whole movie is romanticizing catfishing. Why is nobody talking about this? There are shows out there dedicated to catching catfishers, but in this movie it’s okay? Sierra’s friend Dan even told her that texting this guy under false pretenses was catfishing, but I guess she didn’t care.
-On this same note, why didn’t Sierra stop texting Jamey as soon as she found out he meant to text Veronica? The same Veronica who literally told her that she needed diet pills and that whenever she saw her she wanted to “gouge [her] eyes out?” I don’t understand why she would pretend to be this girl who is literally so mean to her.
-The comments aimed towards Sierra in this movie are insane. Within ten minutes of the movie we are hit with a casual transphobic comment from a minor character aimed towards Sierra. When told of a poetry assignment in class, the girl tells Sierra that she should write about her trans-experience, and calls it “super-topical.” Then later, Veronica makes a comment about hormone pills to Sierra. Similarly, there are a bunch of comments made about Sierra looking like a lesbian. I get that the girl is supposed to be a bully, but these comments crossed so many lines. In a time where gay rights and trans rights are such a popular topic, who thought these comments would be okay?
-Why does Sierra think it’s okay to lie in the first place? She lies and pretends that she is Veronica. If that’s not enough, she brings Veronica into it all and makes her cover for her. She makes Veronica take selfies for her to send to Jamey, she has Veronica FaceTime Jamey, and she sends her on dates with him. It was uncomfortable watching Sierra sit surreptitiously behind Jamey and Veronica on their “date.” For someone who supposedly likes and cares about this boy so much, she sure does play a cruel game.
-Continuing on with the fake-dating weirdness, Sierra actually kisses Jamey. How, you may ask? Well, when Jamey’s eyes were closed because he thought he would be kissing Veronica, Sierra crept out from her hiding spot underneath Jamey’s car, and kissed him. I was BLOWN away when I saw this scene. In a time where consent is such an important part of any relationship, why would Sierra think it would be okay to kiss Jamey without his consent? When the script was being written did no one see how wrong this kiss was? I have so many questions.
-One of the weirdest scenes of this whole movie is when Sierra sees Jamey in person for the first time and Dan makes her go up to him. Sierra, naturally, is worried that Jamey will recognize her voice after all the times they talked on the phone. So, instead, Sierra decides to act deaf. To make this scene even more awkward, Jamey’s younger brother turns out to be actually deaf. I don’t know about Sierra, but I would’ve felt like the worst person in the world after this whole unfortunate event ensued.
-Towards the end of the movie, Sierra pulls a cruel move on Veronica.The whole reason Veronica was helping Sierra get Jamey in the first place was because Sierra, in return, was tutoring Veronica so that a college freshman named Spence, would date her. After Sierra catches Jamey and Veronica kissing at a football game, (why wouldn’t Jamey kiss Veronica? He thought they were dating!) she lashes out. She logs into Veronica’s Instagram account, and posts a pic exposing Veronica getting dumped by Spence. This picture also gets put up on the big screen on the football field. Veronica *technically* didn’t do anything to Sierra to deserve this. Then, after being confronted by her friend Dan about posting this picture, Sierra justifies her actions.
-The premise of this movie is that the viewers should be rooting for Sierra. We should want Sierra to be herself, and be confident, and to get the guy she wants, but her actions make it hard to root for her in the end. She deceives this boy, and then publicly humiliates this girl for something that isn’t even her fault. Let’s also not forget how she basically ditched her best friend Dan through all of this. She justifies all of her actions, and essentially blames teen angst. In the end she writes a song titled “Sunflower” and sends it to everyone, and basically all is forgiven.
-Throughout this whole movie, I liked Jamey. I thought he was a good guy and did not deserve what was happening to him. I mean we saw him shyly approach Veronica when he liked her, we saw all the text messages that were sent, we saw him play with his deaf brother. He seemed like a wholesome guy who definitely didn’t deserve to get catfished. So, in the end, when I heard the backhanded compliment he gives to Sierra, I was floored. On the night of homecoming after Veronica helps Jamey decide to give Sierra a second chance, he arrives at Sierra’s house. While they’re talking, Jamey tells Sierra that she is “not exactly everybody’s type,” but goes on to say that she’s his type. Who thinks this is a valid compliment? If some guy said that to me I think I would walk away and never look back.
-Lastly, the tagline for this movie was “just be you.” Sierra didn’t act like herself for this whole movie, and maybe that was the point, but did she really have to catfish and betray friends just to learn to be herself? I just feel like all of these unfortunate events could’ve been avoided, and that self love could’ve been taught sans catfishing.