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‘Senior Yr’ film assessment: Insurgent Wilson struggles to save lots of Netflix highschool consolation flick

Regardless of assembling all the proper components, any try at a saccharine piece of media is thwarted by a plot that’s extra confused than its protagonist

Regardless of assembling all the proper components, any try at a saccharine piece of media is thwarted by a plot that’s extra confused than its protagonist

Netflix’s newest movie Senior Yr makes an attempt to pay homage to the genre-defining highschool rom-coms of the 2000s. Sadly, this tribute does little justice to its predecessors and very like its protagonist Stephanie Conway, the movie will get misplaced in its wrestle to juggle the current and the previous. 

A fish out of water, Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice) is a heroine we’d have liked to really feel sorry for. After transferring to America from Australia, a teenage Stephanie, with the assistance of trusty journal articles and a pin-board to visualise her targets, shortly ascends to the highest of the highschool social order. This all comes crashing down when a very unhealthy accident, throughout her cheerleading routine, leaves her comatose… proper earlier than promenade.

Skipping ahead 20 years, a 37-year-old Stephanie (now performed by Insurgent Wilson) miraculously wakes up from the coma to seek out that whereas she has aged bodily, “mentally she’s nonetheless 17”. She then begins off on her mission to return to highschool, graduate and win the title of promenade queen.

Nevertheless, the clock has been reset, and as a middle-aged lady, Stephanie is now not Queen B. A second makeover ensues as she now navigates the brand new age of social media-fuelled recognition. All through this course of, she is supported by her father (Chris Parnell), and her childhood associates, Martha (Mary Holland) and Seth (Sam Richardson), who now work on the faculty.

With vibrant visible aesthetics, and a soundtrack that includes Avril Lavigne, Mandy Moore and Fort Minor, Senior Yr begins off as a curious time capsule that we’ve got stumbled upon 20 years later. For a second, it even encourages suspension of disbelief.

Nevertheless, the cracks begin to seem when the movie’s plotline falls prey to the anticipated chiding of the “woke” Gen Z. 

Movies like 13 Occurring 30 which have adopted an identical premise discovered the comedy in particulars, with Jennifer Garner stumbling round in her residence. In distinction, Senior Yr, rushes previous many such moments that might have lent it the lightness that it wanted to remain afloat. Stephanie is proven to be confused by the idea of selfies and social media, however is barely given an evidence earlier than she herself turns into an influencer.

Senior Yr

Director: Alex Hardcastle

Forged: Insurgent Wilson, Justin Hartley, Sam Richardson, Mary Holland, Chris Parnell, Zoë Chao, and others

Period: 1 hour 51 minutes

Storyline: After a cheerleading accident, a highschool pupil falls right into a coma and wakes up 20 years later, decided to graduate and develop into the promenade queen

As an alternative, director Alex Hardcastle makes the societal modifications some extent of rivalry for Stephanie. The current-day college students at Harding Excessive College seem as caricatures written by a bitter grownup. They converse in verbose dialogues about social points, practise cheer routines about local weather change, and fear about being filmed as a result of the “media will use it to attempt to discredit” them after they run for President later. 

The fashionable era is proven to be superficial of their concern for causes and obsessive about how they’re perceived digitally. They’re additionally routinely shocked by Stephanie’s brashness, whose entire storyline morphs into ‘the grownup who’s exhibiting these children to only have some enjoyable’. 

Quickly, Senior Yr veers removed from a visit down reminiscence lane and turns into a projection of millennial frustration at a fast-changing world. It comes off much less like reminiscing fondly over easier instances, and turns into an aggressive competitors over which era had it proper. Stephanie’s irritation at her cartoonishly-woke classmates turns into much less endearing because the movie progresses. 

Predictably, the movie offers in to a neat and good ending. All conflicts are resolved after Stephanie does an Instagram dwell to present a heartfelt speech and hugs it out with Martha on the commencement ceremony, earlier than the entire faculty breaks out right into a last dance routine.

Spoiler alert: One of many movie’s greatest moments is shock cameo by Alicia Silverstone who performs Deanna Russo — a former pupil of Harding Excessive — who was topped promenade queen and lived a “good life” in line with Stephanie. 

On the floor, Senior Yr appears to have all the trimmings of a nostalgic consolation flick, with dialogues that seem to have been plucked instantly from a motivational Instagram web page, and explicitly spelled-out classes on fame being fleeting, one needing to let go of their previous to find their actual self… you get the gist. Nevertheless, any try at a saccharine piece of media is thwarted by a plot that’s extra confused than its protagonist.

Senior Yr is at present streaming on Netflix

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