Sierra Burgess Really Is A Loser & Didn’t Deserve The Happy Ending She Got

Warning! The following article contains spoilers for Sierra Burgess Is A Loser.

The Netflix original Sierra Burgess Is A Loser was very anticipated. After the release of the incredibly popular To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the internet fell in love with Noah Centineo. Stranger Things fans couldn’t wait to see Shannon Purser take the screen again. But Sierra Burgess Is A Loser was a disappointment to all.

Before watching the movie, I was pretty skeptical. I knew the very basics of the plot: somehow, Sierra manages to catfish Jamey. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know why. I was nervous about the fact that she was catfishing him. So much could go wrong with a plot like that, and unfortunately, so much did. Let’s start with the very basics: she catfishes him. I feel like why catfishing is wrong doesn’t need too much explanation, as this was something we learned was wrong by the time we entered middle school. The film could have taken a very comedic turn with this plot line, making a joke as to how horribly wrong catfishing usually goes. That didn’t happen. Instead, Sierra continues to lie to Jamey about her identity, going so far as to enlist popular cheerleader Veronica to help her trick Jamey. Honestly, if the movie had been about Sierra and her friendship with Veronica, it probably would have been a great movie. But the reason for their friendship was beyond screwed up, and Sierra ended up hurting everyone she was closest to, especially Veronica and Jamey.

 

Let’s talk about consent. At this point, we all know what consent is. Unfortunately, some people choose to ignore it, but we all know the definition of consent. Sierra decides to ignore it in this film during Jamey’s first date with Veronica. She hides under his car as Veronica and Jamey talk after the movie (which is creepy in itself), and when it becomes clear that Jamey wants to kiss Veronica, Veronica tells him to close his eyes and motions for Sierra to get out from under the car so she can be the one to kiss him. All the while, Jamey’s eyes are closed, and he believes he is kissing Veronica. He consented to kissing Veronica.  He doesn’t know who Sierra is, and he didn’t show any interest or give any verbal agreement to kissing her. At the end of the movie, when Sierra somehow manages to get a happy ending she doesn’t deserve, Jamey kisses her again while picking her up for the homecoming dance. He makes a joke about how it feels like they’ve done it before. The pacing in the movie is a bit strange here, as the last time Sierra sees Jamey is at his football game, and it’s unclear how much time has passed since. I will assume only a week or two, because homecoming was discussed early in the movie. At the football game, Jamey discovers that Sierra has been catfishing him with Veronica’s help. Understandably, he tells them both to stay away from him. Sierra was incredibly weak in her apology to him. She sends him a text that reads, “I’m so sorry, I never meant to hurt you,” and when he picks her up for the dance, she says “I know [what I did was wrong], and I’m sorry. But do you ever feel like sometimes the whole world is, just, conspiring against you? To tell you that you’re not good enough?” She very quickly manages to make his anger and pain about her. The unfortunate thing is he falls into the trap, comforting her and telling her that she’s smart and funny and talented and beautiful… Ugh. While none of what he says is untrue, it’s not something Sierra deserves to be hearing from him. She gave a weak apology for the lies and manipulation, she never apologized for kissing him without his consent, and, for some reason, he never tells her that he needs an apology. Not that he should have to ask for an apology for something that never should have happened in the first place, but it should have been a bigger deal in the movie that Sierra kissed him without his consent.

 

I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of the revenge storyline. And while Sierra and Veronica’s storyline had a lot of potential, Sierra destroyed it. Veronica is introduced as the stereotypical, thin, beautiful, popular girl who is an absolute b*tch to anyone who isn’t in her circle. Overdone. A bit annoying. Whatever, movies like this always involve cliches, right? And then her character was fleshed out. We were introduced to Veronica’s homelife and we see where she gets her nasty attitude. We sympathize with her. We begin to really like her! It’s easy to forget that her friendship with Sierra began because Sierra wanted to manipulate Jamey. True, Veronica should not have agreed to help her lie to him, but she did, and she does apologize to Jamey (while it is not shown on screen, it is implied that she was very thorough in her explanation/apology). The most unfortunate thing about the Sierra/Veronica storyline is that Sierra is the one who helps Veronica realize she’s more than the bully she’s made herself out to be, only to turn around and betray her new friend, humiliating Veronica in front of the entire school. Veronica changes for the better. She’s happier with herself and in her friendship with Sierra, which is seen in the scene at the party where Veronica goes with Sierra instead of her mean friends. Veronica’s old friends are very judgemental of this, telling her “only losers hang out with losers.” Veronica said this earlier in the film to explain why she didn’t want to give Jamey her real number. When it’s thrown back at Veronica, she’s confused―Sierra is a good friend to her, how could she be a loser? The only thing I love about this film is Veronica’s character development. It’s real. We all know someone who is mean because they were taught to be mean and have changed for the better. Hate being taught is an unfortunate truth, but in this movie, we see Veronica rise above it. We see her learn how to be honest with herself and vulnerable with other people who treat her well and like her for who she is, not who she made herself out to be. And Sierra throws it in her face.

 

The thing about Sierra is, she’s a bit of a bully, but because she’s also a victim, she plays it off like she isn’t. This is shown in her manipulation of Jamey, and her publicly humiliating Veronica for literally sticking to the plan. On Veronica and Jamey’s first date, Sierra asks Veronica not to kiss Jamey. It’s understandable why she doesn’t want them to kiss. But it’s unbelievable that she would ask when she’s already playing Jamey. Jamey thinks he’s dating Veronica, why would he not want to kiss Veronica? Communication is important in all relationships, and when Sierra saw Jamey kiss Veronica, she should have asked her why it happened rather than hacking her Instagram and posting an intimate and private picture of Veronica and Spencer. While doing this, Sierra also shames Veronica for being dumped over DM, as if she had any control over that. Veronica was hurt, and she was vulnerable, and she confided in Sierra when she told her these things. Sierra is absolutely a bully for using such a private matter to humiliate Veronica in front of the entire school. She’s even weaker in her apology to Veronica than she was in her apology to Jamey, simply sending her a song she wrote that is honestly just Sierra further victimizing herself. It’s beyond me how this not only gained forgiveness from Veronica, but also inspired Veronica to go to Jamey’s house and fight for Sierra after apologizing to him for helping her catfish him (again, this is not shown on screen. Jamey tells Sierra about it when he picks her up for the homecoming dance).

The worst part of the film is that Sierra gets a happy ending. She ends up with Jamey and Veronica forgives her, even though Sierra never really apologized and simply smiled at her from across the courtyard. The film reinforces the stereotype of skinny girls being bitches and plus-sized girls being ugly, which is not true, and frankly, tiring. It also shows that you can treat people terribly, but if you learn to play the victim well enough, everyone will forgive you even though you learned nothing from your mistakes, never apologized, and quite honestly, don’t deserve to be forgiven. I think it’s worth noting that there’s a lot more wrong in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser than I wrote here, but quite honestly, I don’t recommend you even waste your time watching it to find out.