First, it was "To All The Boys I've Loved Before," but the new Netflix Original Movie taking the internet by storm is "Sierra Burgess is A Loser." The trailer for the movie came out right around the same time that "Insatiable's" controversial trailer came out, and I remember feeling excited and refreshed that a wholesome new series was coming out that would overshadow the mess that Insatiable surely would have been. I haven't watched "Insatiable," but with how "Sierra Burgess" went, I'm not sure if my predictions were accurate.
There will be spoilers included, so if you plan to watch, skip to the end.
"Sierra Burgess is a Loser" is about a girl named Sierra Burgess who is unpopular and tormented by your average high school bitch, Veronica. She also has a best friend named Dan that she hangs with all of the time. At one point, Veronica is approached by a guy named Jamey who asks for Veronica's number. Instead of giving her own phone number, she gives Jamey Sierra's number as a joke. Jamey and Sierra start texting under the pretenses that Sierra is actually Veronica and trouble ensues.
In the beginning, I was really loving Sierra's character. Veronica or anyone else could be as nasty as they wanted to Sierra and it never brought her down. She had a keen sense of optimism and self-confidence that could not be broken. That quickly changed.
Sierra starts texting Jamey as soon as Veronica gives him her number and they hit it off incredibly well. At this point, Sierra was still fine in my books. She hadn't done anything shady just yet.
Then Sierra finds out that Jamey thinks that she's been Veronica this whole time. This entire movie could have been much better from this point if she had just admitted that she was Sierra and not Veronica. But she doesn't. She pretends to be Veronica instead. This movie should have been called Sierra Burgess is a Catfish because it only goes down from here.
Sierra and Jamey start talking on the phone and soon enough, he wants to Facetime. Sierra, instead of coming clean, makes an exchange with Veronica that she will tutor her so that Veronica looks smarter for her college boyfriend, Spence, in exchange for her to Facetime Jamey for her.
While she's at Veronica's house, however, Sierra stumbles upon the reasons that Veronica is the way she is. Veronica's mom is an insufferable dance mom and her sisters are beyond aggravating. It's clear that Veronica has impossible standards to live up to and that she's being forced into a mold by her mother who is struggling with the absence of her husband and Veronica's father. To her credit, Sierra didn't tell anyone about this side of Veronica or ever shame her for that. That might be the only credit I'll give her.
Later on, Dan and Sierra are at the park picking up garbage when they run into Jamey and his little brother. Dan makes a move and goes to introduce Sierra to Jamey, but knowing that Jamey would recognize her voice, Sierra chooses to do the only logical thing in that situation and pretends to be deaf. Better yet, it just so turns out that Jamey's little brother is ACTUALLY deaf and Sierra has to keep up the fake deaf person charade in the presence of an actual deaf person. Sierra really is out here on a downward spiral.
After this, the catfishing intensifies with the Facetime call and soon enough, Jamey wants to go on a date with Veronica/Sierra. At this point, Sierra is still tutoring Veronica and the two of them are starting to become good friends. Veronica even opens up to Sierra and confides in her in a way that she doesn't seem to with anyone else. With all of this in mind, Veronica agrees to go on a date with Jamey for Sierra.
This is one of the Big Loser moments of the movie. Veronica and Jamey go see a movie with Sierra hid a row behind them. Other than the catfishery, this part is mostly fine. It's what happens after the movie that's troubling. Veronica and Jamey are hanging out at Jamey's car and Sierra is close by, listening and watching. Jamey leans in to kiss Veronica and instead of doing so, she makes him close his eyes and swaps out for Sierra. Sierra then kisses him instead WITHOUT HIS CONSENT. I get the intent where Veronica didn't want to kiss Sierra's guy, but POOR execution of this idea.
After this, Sierra moves into her Bad Friend Phase™. One night, Dan really wants to hang out with her and she tells him that she's going to bed early, but goes out with Veronica instead after Veronica confides in her about her insecurities surrounding her on-again/off-again boyfriend. The next day when he finds out is when things really take a turn for the worst.
There's a football game and of course, everyone is there. Sierra and Dan are in the band, Veronica is the cheer captain, Jamey is playing in the game, and Spence is in the stands. Before the game, Sierra sees Jamey approach and kiss a surprised Veronica without context. With this, it begins. Sierra, while insulting Veronica's intelligence (her biggest insecurity!), hacks into her phone and leaks details about Veronica's personal life all over her social media account. In a final dramatic conclusion to the scene, Jamey talks to both Veronica and Sierra and realizes Sierra has been the one he's been talking to this whole time.
After this, Sierra writes an angsty song and miraculously all is made right in the world. She gets the guy, all her friends forgive her, and all is right in the world.
For those of you who intend to watch, you may continue reading.
I had incredibly high hopes for what this movie could have been. I thought it might be a body-positive look at the troubles of high school for a girl who isn't a size 0. I thought it might be a cute love story about a guy liking a girl not just for her looks. I was disappointed in both aspects. All aspects. This movie has a lot of hype going for it, but in the end, Sierra is not a likable character and her actions are unjustified and unforgivable. (Although the other characters can't seem to agree with me on that note.) It's an interesting movie to watch if you want to know what everyone's talking about, but be ready to agree completely with the title: "Sierra Burgess" really is a loser.