The Netflix original movie Sierra Burgess Is a Loser was supposed to be a homage to every self conscious girl who feels like they have no purpose or have no idea who they are. Instead, the movie portrayed its main character, Sierra Burgess as a vindictive and manipulative loner whose only purpose in life is to win the heart of a boy. Sierra is the basic stereotype for this sort of character. She has good grades, is in band, has one friend, who is just as nerdy as her, and she is bullied for every step she takes. She is even played by a plus sized actress, which is a step up for the teen film industry. When we first meet Sierra, she is going through what most high school seniors go through, college stress. Her counselor asks her the question of “What is Sierra Burgess?” but Sierra has no answer, causing her to stress. Her counselor suggests she takes up tutoring, so that her applications stand out. That’s when she decided to put her number around the school. When the head mean girl of the school, Veronica, decides to give Sierra’s number to a cute guy as a joke because he has “loser friends,” things start to take off. Sierra gets a mystery text, It happens to be Jamey, the cute boy. Sierra has no idea why or how this boy has her number but she plays along, hoping that it isn’t all too good to be true.
When Jamey calls her Veronica it is all clear and Sierra is crushed. She decides to play along anyway. The movie tries to justify Veronica’s horrific bullying with the fact that her mom is plus sized and her dad left. The mom is just a coverup for trying to be a ‘diverse’ movie and giving a mean spirited girl a scapegoat. The main problem I have with this movie is that it glorifies the act of catfishing. Catfishing is pretending to be someone else, and engaging in a fantasy that could eventually lead to emotional harm for both involved. Sierra is catfishing Jamey into believing that she is Veronica, when in fact she is not. Jamey eventually asks “Veronica” to FaceTime and (Sierra being an idiot) says yes. Coincidentally, the real Veronica ends up needing a tutor and Sierra offers to help her in exchange for a favor. Her plan is to FaceTime Jamey with Veronica’s face, but with Sierra’s voice in the background. When Sierra says something, Veronica acts like it is lagging. The FaceTime ends up being a success, and the catfishing continues. Overall, this movie was trying to send a major message to teenagers that you don’t have to be the most beautiful, skinny, or the most popular to win the favor of people, but it ended up being like every other Netflix original, with the same cast, bad acting, and the glorification of nasty internet ways.