We see Sierra (Shannon Purser), a young high school girl, get out of the shower. She uses her feet to move a towel around the floor soaking up water. Sierra puts on a large towel and begins to examine herself in the mirror. She tells her reflection ‘You are a magnificent beast’ and then brushes her teeth. Now dressed she bends down to look at her pet turtle in a tank and gives it a kiss.
She goes into the kitchen where her mom (Lea Thompson) and dad (Alan Ruck) are sitting at the breakfast table. Her mom asks her how she slept and Sierra replies (I dreamt that my socks ate my feet again.’ Her father spouts a quote about dreams, and Sierra tells her father that the author of the quote is Dickens. Sierra makes a sandwich as her mom tells her about a seminar that she is leading.
We see Sierra in school talking with one of her friends, Dan (RJ Cyler) as she complains about her mother and her seminar. Sierra puts a paper on the bulletin board advertising her services as a tutor with her phone number at the bottom of the ad. Dan makes fun of her picture on the paper as they walk away. Veronica (Kristine Froseth) comes up to the bulletin board and tears the bottom of the ad that Sierra just put up, taking all the phone numbers, making the ad useless.
In a classroom, the teacher assigns the task of the students creating a poem, a poem that they will recite in class and will be ten percent of their grade. A fellow student tells Sierra that she write a poem about being transgender. The teacher tells that student that she can write her poem about ‘your horrible personality.’ The bell rings, and the teacher stops Sierra and praises her last paper.
We cut to a school bathroom, where Sierra is washing her hands. Veronica pushes her away so that she can use the sink and calls Sierra ‘Frodo’. Sierra corrects Veronica, telling her she meant Quasimodo, not Frodo. Sierra gives Veronica background on Quasimodo and then walks away from a very pissed Veronica.
Sierra and Dan are now in science class. A still pissed Veronica keeps staring at Sierra. Dan goes on and on about how he has to do more before he applies to colleges. Sierra is next in a counselor’s office where Sierra is told that she must do more if she wants to get into Stanford.
We cut to a diner where Veronica and her friends are eating. They notice that a boy is looking at Veronica. The boy, Jamey (Noah Centineo) comes over to the table and asks for Veronica’s phone number. Veronica looks down at the purse and see’s the phone numbers that she tore off of Sierra’s ad, and gives him that number. He walks away thinking he got Veronica’s number but instead it’s Sierra’s. It’s a phone number that will change Veronica’s, Jamey’s and especially Sierra’s lives.
‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’ is a mixture of Cyrano de Bergerac with a bit of John Hughes 1980’s teen comedies. Jamey starts texting the number that he thinks is Veronica’s; instead, he texts Sierra. Sierra figures out that he believes she is Veronica. Instead of telling him the truth, she lets him think that she is Veronica. Sierra can’t help herself, and as the relationship starts to blossom, she gets more than she can handle.
Directed smartly by Ian Samuels and written by Lindsey Beer, the film stars Shannon Purser of ‘Stranger Things’ fame and Noah Centineo, who just stared in another Netflix film, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Seen.’ Purser is the reason to see this film. Playing the girl that isn’t scared to try new things, Purser makes you instantly root for her. Giving a heartfelt performance, Purser tugs at your heartstrings as she plays Sierra perfectly. She has excellent chemistry with Noah Centineo who plays the jock with a heart of gold, even though they are rarely in the same room together.
The other performance I liked was Kristine Froeseth’s, the mean girl who appears to have everything but appearances can be deceiving, and Veronica’s world isn’t as perfect as she makes it out to be. Froeseth actually makes us like Veronica, giving her character depth and more than just that mean girl vibe.
This witty film is fun to watch, and though it gets into a bit of trouble in the third act, it ends with the ending that is satisfying. Go spend some time with Sierra Burgess and see if she can pull off getting the quarterback to fall in love with her.
My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst:
1). I Would Pay to See it Again
2). Full Price
3). Bargain Matinee
5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again.
The film is currently on Netflix.