‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’ rewards jealousy and bad behavior

Ashley Potts

Even though you probably should have stopped watching them in high school, cheesy romantic comedies are supposed to be fun and make you feel good. They aren’t supposed to make you angry, but ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’ made me angry.

The new Netflix original film had a lot of promise. It stars Shannon Purser, better known as Barb from “Stranger Things,” as Sierra Burgess. Noah Centineo also plays a leading role as Jamey, after suddenly becoming the internet’s boyfriend after starring in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

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This casting pair seemed exciting at first. I thought Purser was finally going to get justice for her fate in ‘Stranger Things’ in the form of a cute boyfriend. I suppose that is technically what happened in this film, but it ended up feeling a lot less like rom-com justice and a lot more like a cheap consolation prize. Let’s start at the beginning.

The premise of this movie is exactly what the title says; Sierra Burgess is a loser. She’s the stereotypical high school nerd. She wants to get straight A’s, plays flute in the marching band, wears glasses and sweaters with animals on them and gets made fun of by the popular girls.

At first, it seems like she’s strong and confident. Her parents preach self-esteem and she claps back at the petty retorts thrown at her in the girl’s room. I was really prepared to love Sierra Burgess, and was in for some self-love and taking no sh*t from haters. But it fell apart quickly.

The popular cheerleader, Veronica (Kristine Froseth), blows off Jamey, the star quarterback, by giving him a fake number, which turns out to be Sierra Burgess’. He starts texting the number thinking he’s talking to Veronica, and Sierra flirts back letting him think she’s Veronica, not some “loser.” The whole premise is weird, creepy and would obviously fall apart fast in real life. But, for the sake of silly love stories, I’ll let this part slide. 

Sierra and Veronica end up bonding over catfishing Jamey, despite the fact that they used to bully each other. That was the only part of this movie I didn’t hate. They managed to overcome their differences and become friends. Veronica stood up for Sierra when the other popular girls kept insisting she was a loser, and they supported each other. There was even a slight eyebrow makeover. 

This is what made the rest of the movie sting so much. Veronica had great character development from mean girl to friend. She went along with the dumbest catfish scheme to ever exist and was the wing-woman every girl needs. In one fell swoop, Sierra Burgess went from being a loser to being a straight-up a**hole. Jamey kissed Veronica, because that’s who he thought he’d been talking to the whole time, and Sierra lost it in a jealous teenage rage.

The movie ends with everyone forgiving Sierra and her getting the guy and going to homecoming with the quarterback. But I’m not buying it. She didn’t deserve that happy ending, or at least not so easily. 

Should you watch it? Nope. 

Sierra turned into the worst character. I no longer wanted her to get the guy and I wouldn’t blame her friends for never making up with her. In an undisclosed event, she betrayed girl code, lied and blamed everyone but herself. 

I’m all for second chances, but they are never earned as easily as they are in this movie.

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Ashley Potts can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @ashleypotts09.