A Book and Film Blog

Monday, 1 October 2018

Sierra Burgess is a Loser + other Netflix films that did not deliver

This post contains spoilers.
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Sierra Burgess is a Loser
After watching To All the Boys I've Loved Before, I had a new favourite genre: Netflix rom-coms starring Noah Centineo. So imagine my excitement for the release of Sierra Burgess is a Loser,  a modern retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story. This time about the smart, witty Sierra (Shannon Purser). The film also centres around mean girl Veronica (Kristine Froseth) enjoys making Sierra feel small and often tears her down with hurtful comments about her appearance. One day, Jamey (our bae Noah Centineo) asks Veronica for her number. In yet another attempt to embarrass her, Veronica gives him Sierra's instead, under the pretence that it's her. Low and behold Sierra and Jamey start texting, talking and falling in love. But what would happen when Sierra and Jamey eventually crosspaths?

Now don't get me wrong, I could tell that if the film was going down the catfishing route ... things were going to get problematic. But I really thought they'd tackle the issue head on, making it a learning curve for both Sierra and audiences. That didn't happen. Not only is catfishing romanticised  despite being a complete violation of trust (which btw, is illegal), the film also throws in a tonne of other questionable plot elements. Veronica and Sierra do become friends yet Veronica never apologises for bullying Sierra; Sierra pretends to be deaf to continue to fool Jamey ... while there is a real deaf person in the scene; Sierra kisses Jamey while he thinks he's kissing Veronica therefore without his consent; Sierra hacks into Veronica's Instagram account and then proceeds to publicly slut shame her and; Jamey's remarks when he finally realises who Sierra is are quite fatphobic. What makes this all worse is that neither the film nor the characters apologise for any of these actions, leaving a really bad taste in my mouth when Sierra and Jamey do eventually get together.

You Get Me
I'm still not entirely sure where I stand on Bella Thorne. I do believe there's an actress in there and yet, I've never liked anything she's ever been in nor have any of her performances been particularly convincing. In You Get Me she plays Holly, a girl who has a one-night stand with Tyler during the summer holidays. Once summer is over, he gets back together with his ex ... something that soon becomes a problem for Holly since she's transferred schools to continue their "relationship". Safe to say, things get a little obsessive.

While Holly is definitely unhinged, we don't understand why. We also don't understand what it is about this pretty dull guy that is so interesting. And alas, we don't care. This entire trope is very tired.

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The Week Of
Maybe expecting an Adam Sandler film to be great was too much to ask. But these meet-the-family/wedding films are among my favourite genre of film ! And adding Chris Rock to the project seemed like a real money move at the time. The Week Of does have its heart in the right place and, this is quite possibly Adam Sandler's best work in a while as an endearing working-class dad grinding to give his daughter the wedding of her dreams. Unfortunately, the film as a whole feels like a poor man's My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

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The Meyerowitz Stories
I'm well aware of how much people seemed to love this film. Me, not so much. The Meyerowitz Stories screams, "look at me I'm an art house/edgy/intellectual drama and I have big stars !" It follows three adult children, their individual relationships with their delusional father and how this relationship has impacts their lives. And while the film does do this effectively, with fantastic performances from Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler; it is painfully slow. The film feels like it's building up to an explosive final act which never happens and simply sizzles out.

Have you seen anything recently on Netflix that just didn't live up to the hype?
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