To everyone that is tired of the stereotypical American teen movies with the same endings, Netflix’s new original movie is certainly an alternative and a must-watch for the rom-com fans.
Sierra Burgess is a Loser, starring Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser, is about the mistaken identities between a popular cheerleader and a reject. In this plot, Jamey (Noah Centineo) starts texting a number thinking he’s talking to the cheerleader, Veronica (Kristine Froseth). However, instead, the number is actually Sierra’s (Shannon Purser), the reject. It leads them to both an unexpected romance and a surprising friendship in a magical rom-com style film.
Firstly, the cast has many great actors, including Noah Centineo, one of Netflix’s most recent breakout star. Shannon Purser was another great choice for the movie, especially as Netflix didn’t give her enough credit for her minor role in Stranger Things as Barb.
The general message of the movies is also crucial as it embraces the idea of a positive body image and how people shouldn’t judge someone by the way they look but by who they are as a person. The protagonist is not the perfect teenage girl everyone is used to seeing, she is not the rose but the sunflower, as sung by Shannon in the movie’s theme “Sunflower”, and that is a truly amazing message. A popular girl like Veronica, who is both slim and beautiful, could learn to overcome their differences and became Sierra’s friend, rather than bully her for the way she looks, and thus eliminating stereotypes of popularity.
The movie also points out not only the story behind a reject but the story behind a bully and what forms someone to be one. Veronica has many conflicts at home, familiarly and financially- having a mother that expects looks and appearances from her rather than grades and personal merit as she believes that is the only way to “get the boys”, the central point to a girl’s life according to her.
Nevertheless, on the other hand, many fans also criticised movie and its message. Fans thought that what Sierra did to Veronica was not on the same level and that we never see a proper apology from one to the other. Some also commented on the whole idea of cat-fishing and how Jamey would never have chosen Sierra if he knew what she looked like. Personally though, I believe that even though cat-fishing is not acceptable, Jamey still chose to be with Sierra after he found out who she really was and this shows how he understood that someone can be so much more than looks.
Last but not least, a fun fact is that ‘SBIAL’ has its very own soundtrack made specifically for the movie and it involves artists such as Sabrina Carpenter, Allie X, Leland, Shannon Purser, and many others. If you’re looking for new songs to listen to, this playlist is great. All songs also follow a specific genre/theme with synths, which may have a remind listeners of songs in Stranger Things, a note to fans of Shannon’s role as Barb in the TV Series.