Review of 'Senior Years' Netflix: Should You Stream It Or Skip It?A bad film that is too similar to other movies, or worse, is not a good strategy.
Rebel Wilson headlines Netflix's Senior Year, an oh-no-I-woke-up-from-a-20-year-coma-and-need-to-go-back-to-high-school comedy that'll make you yearn for the days of low-rise jeans and Nelly's band-aid. The Australian funny lady who broke through by stealing scenes in Bridesmaids plays a dweeb-turned-cheerleader-turned-coma-patient-turned-clueless-maniac who experiences cultural whiplash when she learns that yesterday's sexualized cheer captains are today's socially conscious influencers. Does that sound funny? Let's see.
The Git: In 1999, before cell phones even had antennas, Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice), was a social outcast. She moved to America from Australia in order to become a cool person. She set her goals for 2002 and made her way in her world. Captain of cheer squad, lots of makeup. But, there was no discernible personality traits. So she could pretend to be friends with the in crowd, she treated Seth, a book dweeb, and Martha (Molly Brown) like garbage. It was a tight race to be prom queen, with Tiffany (Zoe Chao), her opponent. Tiffany fires at her the following insult like Legolas' arrows. 'I am MTV and your're VH1. Then there was a cheerleading accident which left Steph unconscious for twenty years.
In 2022 she will be played by Rebel Wilson. Sam Richardson plays Seth. Mary Holland plays Martha. Zoe Chao still plays Tiffany. The doctor also drops the most important bomb. Steph might have a 37 year-old body, but she is still 17 mentally. That's why we complain that this is yet another 13 Going on 30 scam. It's just an opportunity for Ally McBeal references and Britney sing jokes. Remember TRL The Real World: New Orleans What was the origin of the term 'gay,' and how it has been used as an insult in modern times? This movie will bring back the memories!
Adult-body/teenage-mind Steph could get her GED and go to counseling, but that's not wacky enough for this movie. She wants to continue where she is at the moment and finish her senior year at the same high school. Because someone thought it would be hilarious if Rebel Wilson played an idiot who uses a thumbdrive as a computer tampon and pretends that she's using a graphing calculator like a phone. It is difficult to integrate into school life, as Martha is principal, Seth the school librarian, and Tiffany is the most well-known kid at school. It's amazing how things have changed. The cheerleaders now wear baggy pants and cheer about sexual consent. There are also zillions of Instagram followers. Prom queen is a competition so everybody's a winner. Steph is going to do something about this and catch up on important things: "I just discovered that there are eight additional Fast & Furious movies!" Talk about culture shock.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Senior Year takes bits of Mean Girls, Billy Madison, Back to School, Clueless, 21 Jump Street (the movie) and about a half-dozen other conceptually similar films and/or turn-of-the-millennium-era high school comedies, and turns it into bland mush.
Watch It: Although the material is terrible for most people, I will choose Justin Hartley to play Steph's adult version. He's now Tiffany's ex-boyfriend. Hartley plays the role of the ex-hunky brother who is trying to keep his status as a Hummer salesman while being secretly managed by Tiffany.
Memorable Dialog: Here's a spoiler: "Even though my brain was dead, you kept my heart beating."
Skin and Sex: Not much beyond lascivious cheerleader dancing routines and crude speech.
Our View: Senior Year asks us to recall all of the teenage movies that we watched 20 years ago. This is a poor strategy especially when it comes to writing decent jokes. This film is not worth watching. Wilson muggles and flails in order to promote this ridiculous, laughless plot. She never emotionally connects with the character. (She's much more entertaining as an actress playing a role in JoJo Rabbit ). It's a rehash of the same old situations with supporting characters. It runs for nearly two hours and is stuffed with too many 'funny musical-dance routines. This movie is a watcher-watcher's delight.
Yet, the most serious error in this scenario is that it fails to include more than a list of references. The scenario is scientifically accurate, but what does it feel like to be a teenager with a young brain and a body that's near middle-aged? The movie also enjoys the That Was Then, This Is Now video game, but it renders limp any comedy of the less-PC. The early 2000s are compared to today's social media age. You won't find any sharp observation here or funny critical commentary. Just the most simple, obvious jokes. You could watch Easy, which would be more similar to Simple D-.
Are you willing to stream the Rebel Wilson comedy high school on #SeniorYearNetflix or not? #SeniorYearNetflix
— Decider (@decider) May 15, 2022
Our call: Senior year would like to become MTV in 2002 but will be MTV by 2022. You can skip this and not worry about it.
John Serba, a writer freelancer and film critic is located in Grand Rapids (Michigan). Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com.