Sierra Burgess Is a Loser hits Netflix on September 7th.
By I. Simon
When I hear the words “Netflix Original Film,” my expectations are low. While I tried to give this flick a chance, but Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is, unfortunately – yet unsurprisingly – no exception. While the film isn’t horrible or offensive, it’s just a very predictable and forgettable entry into the coming of age genre, destined to be buried in Netflix’s vast catalog.
The premise of Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is admittedly a tad original, in that the awkward, bullied protagonist and the popular girl are actually trying to help one another for most of the runtime, but the problem is that you know exactly where it’s going to go, and writer Lindsey Beer and director Ian Samuels do nothing to make it interesting in the slightest. The characters are underwritten, the dialogue is very cliché, none of the attempts at humor land, it’s narratively predictable and full of clichés/tropes, and nothing directionally or concerning technicals stand out, with the pacing being inconsistent and the editing being awful at times. It’s just very shallow and by the numbers, and I was very bored while watching it.
The only thing that Sierra Burgess Is a Loser has going for it is the performances. Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, and RJ Cyler, in particular, all give pretty good performances, and Purser has decent chemistry with both of them. Lea Thompson and Alan Ruck also provide decent work here. However, they aren’t able to make their characters compelling in the slightest.
Overall, Sierra Burgess is like most Netflix Original Films: shallow and forgettable fare that few would probably pay to see in theaters. It feels more like an attempt for Netflix to bank off of Shannon Purser’s name than anything, considering that Stranger Things is one of Netflix’s most successful properties to date. I almost forgot about Sierra Burgess Is a Loser literally the day after I saw it, and you probably will as well.
I give Sierra Burgess Is a Loser a D+.