‘Senior Year‘ is a Netflix comedy directed by Alex Hardcastle based on an original screenplay by Andrew Knauer, Arthur Pielli, and Brandon Scott Jones. Rebel Wilson co-produced the movie with Paramount Pictures handling production.
Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice) is the cheer captain at her local high school in 2002. Preparing to become prom queen, she has everything. She has the perfect boyfriend, good friends, and though she is a mean girl, she is popular, desiring to be like her idol Deanna Russo (Alicia Silverstone). After angering one of her fellow cheerleaders, a stunt goes wrong and she ends up in a coma.
Stephanie (Rebel Wilson) wakes up in 2022 to her father Jim (Chris Parnell) and best friend Martha Reiser (Mary Holland) greeting her. She learns her former boyfriend Blaine (Justin Hartley) is married to her rival Tiffany (Zoë Chao) and living in her dream home. She decides to go back to school to finish her high school year, reconnecting with her friend Seth Novacelik (Sam Richardson). When she discovers there is no prom king and queen, she starts a revolution to bring it back.
The first ten minutes of the film were pretty funny. They leaned hard into making fun of the nineties and the early two-thousands with a lot of pop culture references. I thought they did a good job with that and making you feel like you were in the times. The other past references throughout the film were pretty good.
After that, it kind of falls apart.
Rebel Wilson is hilarious and she did have some excellent one-liners, but like all of the “comedies” coming from Hollywood, it seems to prefer claps to laughs. There were several times you would think they were gearing up for a joke only for it to drop.
One of the biggest failures was the missed opportunity with the best friend Martha. They should have had her be in a relationship with the father which would have been hilarious. Instead, they use it as an opportunity to whine about social politics. Bland. That was only one example.
They tried to fill the void with cultural references, gross-out scenes, shock job tactics, and Stephanie’s lack of knowledge of the era she is in. Not even Alicia Silverstone could save it.
As I mentioned before, Rebel Wilson is genuinely funny, but like other comedians and comediennes, she is getting crappy writing that is ruining her natural flare for a good joke. This will only continue until they start demanding better.
Bottom line, Senior Year is a missed and wasted opportunity. What could have been a funny movie became victim to a Hollywood that does not want to make a joke.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Some violence, Drug and alcohol themes, Raunchy humor
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Check out the trailer below:
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