Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, which premiered on September 7, 2018, is a charming, technology-based coming-of-age teen love story for all ages.
The plot really starts to kick off when the popular Veronica (Kristine Froseth) gives Jamey (Noah Centineo, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), their rival school’s quarterback, Sierra’s phone number claiming it to be hers. This cruel joke turned mistaken identity turns into flirting and unintentional catfishing.
However, Veronica eventually helps and becomes friends with Sierra. At different times these supporting main characters have a falling out with Sierra due to said catfishing, but everything concludes happily.
Almost all the main characters have these two sides to their lives - who they’re perceived to be and who they really are. This concept parallels characters of John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club - they are not defined by the labels others gave them. It parallels another John Hughes classic, Pretty In Pink, regarding popularity and self-acceptance and pink dresses being worn at the end. However, it breathes new life into these tropes that some might consider cliche, but they are done so well for a new generation that’s tied to social media and all types of body positivity.
The messages regarding being yourself and popularity is overrated were very much evident. We don’t all look like roses - skinny and blonde - some of us are sunflowers, but are still beautiful. It didn’t shy away from the standards of beauty still portrayed in magazines or that men seemingly have to be attracted to a certain type of woman.
There are quotes and references to classic literature - Shakespeare, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Lord of The Rings, The Picture of Dorian Gray - and philosophers - such as Plato - that reflect the themes of true inner beauty. For instance, when discussing Plato, Sierra mentions how he “revered beauty for revealing the mysteries of the soul.” However, the most important reference is that it's an adaptation of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.
This movie encapsulated the struggles of an unpopular high schooler in this day-in-age well. Social media and modern teen lingo were not overused, which it could have been. Classic literature themes and even possible connections to iconic '80s movies were woven in well whether was in the dialogue, theme, and/or visuals.
The characters were relatable because everyone struggles with their confidence and if they should reveal their true selves to the world.
However, some of the in-person catfishing situations seemed unrealistic in terms of how they went over almost flawlessly, along with how everyone easily forgave one another in the end.
Despite that, this was a highly enjoyable movie that everyone should watch - it truly was an hour and 45-minute roller coaster ride of relatability and emotions.