Sierra Burgess is INDEED A Loser: Netflix Movie Review


Netflix's new original movie is extremely problematic.

I am writing this because the video I would have made would have been 10 minutes of fury and rage.

I was so excited when I saw the trailer for Sierra Burgess is a Loser.  It had our girl Barb from Stranger Things, who had five minutes of lines and ended up the first sacrifice to the Demogorgon.  It had a young woman trying to discover her self while being afraid of what that means.  Or so it seemed.

Sierra should have been sacrificed to the Upside Down instead.  Barb deserved better.

The premise of the movie is a call back to one of my favorite romantic comedies, The Truth About Cats and Dogs.  In that movie, Abby Barnes (Janeane Garafalo), a veterinarian, falls for a photographer, Brian (Ben Chaplin), who is attracted to her voice and personality (she's a radio talk show host).  He calls her show because he's having trouble taming a Great Dane he's trying to photograph for a gig.  She talks him down, and he reaches out.  Because she is insecure about her looks, she asks her model neighbor Noelle (Uma Thurman) to go meet Brian in her place.  Brian is attracted to Noelle's looks, but can tell something is missing, and spends time on the phone with Abby.  It is eventually revealed that the women have been lying to him, and he is understandably upset.  Abby does apologize, and leave it to Brian to decide if he wants to accept her apology.  He eventually does.

Now, if you watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser, you may think "Hey Doc, that's the same thing that happened in this movie, why are you upset?"

Here are the key differences:

Abby tried to avoid Brian.  He pursued her.  He fell for Abby based on her voice and personality FIRST.  They fell for each other over the phone.   He connected her voice to her looks after Abby sent Noelle as a proxy.  Abby attempted a few times to tell him the truth.  Noelle, dealing with her own insecurities, got in the way of that, which caused Abby to back away and leave the two of them alone.  When Noele realized she was being an awful person, she tried to make it right by having Brian meet Abby at her home.  Now, you are probably thinking "Hey Doc, why does that make Sierra a trash person?"  Just keep reading and I'll explain.  Yes, Veronica set Sierra up to receive texts from Jamey, because Jamey had noticed VERONICA at the football games and approached VERONICA at the diner.  Jamey starts to send texts to Sierra, thinking she's VERONICA.  There was no mistake who Jamey was after/wanted to be with.  Once Jamey told her who he THOUGHT he was talking to, she should have come clean.  She didn't.  She NEVER NOT ONCE came clean.  She even interrupts his time with his brother, pretending to be deaf, LIKE HIS BROTHER.

Like The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Veronica and Sierra get to know each other and become friends.  Veronica opens up to Sierra about her home life, her mother's delusions, and her father's abandonment.  Although she started off as a mean girl, she embraces Sierra as a friend.  And Sierra appears to embrace Veronica's friendship too.  Until...Jamey, thinking he's talking to the person he's been texting (you know, the person he originally was pursuing IN THE FIRST PLACE) kisses Veronica.  This enrages Sierra, because Veronica promised not to.  Now mind you, Veronica assisted Sierra in kissing Jamey without his knowledge and permission, with him thinking that he's kissing Veronica (it's just as gross as it sounds).  So, because she's pissed, Sierra logs into Veronica's Instagram and posts a text message that Veronica shared where the guy Veronica really likes made out with her, took a photo, and then dumped her via DM.  This winds up on the score screen at the big football game...where Jamey is playing.  Veronica is publicly shamed and humiliated because of Sierra's insecurity.Her insecurity leads her to become a mean girl.  She catfishes a guy, and then embarrasses the friend who has been trying uplift her, who has opened herself up to her.  When Jamey doesn't want to be bothered, and Veronica doesn't want to be bothered, and even her best friend Dan steers clear of her, she goes off on her parents, blaming them for being smart and beautiful and "sticking me with this body," records a song about how she's a sunflower and other people are more loved than her but she's special too, sends it to Veronica, and sits in her victimhood.  Veronica, moved by the gesture, pleads to Jamey on Sierra's behalf.  Jamey, being a nice guy, shows up and takes Sierra to her homecoming and apparently forgives her.  All is well.SIERRA HAS DONE NOTHING RESTORATIVE TO EARN THIS OUTCOME!  She was an insecure girl, who took her insecurities out on others, lied to get what she wanted, and then when an inevitable result took place (Jamey trying to make out with the girl he was initially attracted to and thought he was talking to the entire time), Sierra publicly humiliates said girl.  She has no consequences, experiences no real fallout, and gets everything back in the end, including the friendship of Dan and Veronica, and a new cute and caring boyfriend to boot.


Let me tell you something.  I was really excited about this movie but here I am four hours later still infuriated by the outcome.  Honestly, since she provided no real apology and did no restorative work, Sierra should have ended up alone.  Sierra Burgess is not just a loser.  Sierra Burgess is trash.  This movie is trash.  Avoid it at all costs.




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