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The Orion

‘Sierra Burgess Is A Loser’ tries to make catfishing cute

Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) helps her friend win the affections of a boy via online conversations in “Sierra Burgess Is A Loser”. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Netflix has had quite the surge of romantic comedies over the last few months. “Sierra Burgess Is A Loser” is a modern retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story and it’s the latest to join the rom-com genre, but compared to the likes of Netflix’s current fan favorite,“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, it falls quite flat.

The movie centers around Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser), who’s your stereotypical loser high school student. Burgess is smart and nerdy in the typical way high school nerds are portrayed in these kinds of movies. She has one friend and is tormented by the stereotype mean girl, Veronica (Kristine Froseth). We later come to meet Jamey (Noah Centineo), who is the quarterback at a rival school. He decides to hit on Veronica but she is not really into it – we later find out why. To get him off her back, she gives him Sierra’s number. Thus we begin an hour and 40 minutes of the longest episode of MTV’s Catfish – only we know she is not who she says she is.

Both Sierra and Jeremy soon develop a deep connection through their text conversations with Jamey thinking Sierra is Veronica, or at least we’re meant to believe they’re deep. It’s mostly just two people exchanging memes. Soon we start to get into the territory of Jamey wanting face to face interaction. This is where it gets interesting. Sierra asks for Veronica’s help, and in exchange, Sierra has to tutor her so that she can appear smart for her college boyfriend.

This partnership slowly turns into a friendship and it becomes quite heartwarming to watch Veronica and Sierra develop their friendship, as well as entertaining. I was really rooting for them, which was weird because they’re catfishing this poor guy. I felt so invested in Sierra and Veronica’s friendship that I completely forgot that it’s a love story between Sierra and Jamey. Jamey was way underutilized. You could tell that the actors were trying their best to work with the subpar script they were given.

This movie is one big ball of creepy. Jamey eventually wants to take Veronica on a date which Veronica agrees to go on, while Sierra is close behind following them. It gives off this stalker vibe that’s very off-putting. When Jamey leans in for a kiss, Veronica tells him to close his eyes so that she can switch with Sierra mid-kiss. This scene was meant to be sweet but it comes off as odd. I won’t spoil the ending but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where the rest of the movie goes.

“Sierra Burgess Is A Loser” is your basic cut and paste teen rom-com that tries to be a retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story for the modern age but just comes across as creepy and cliche. Sierra and Veronica’s blooming friendship is really the only redeeming quality this film has. So if you’re thinking that movies have to be good because it has the actor that played Peter Kavinsky, then you’re better off just rewatching “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] or @Alexcoba9 on Twitter.

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