The fantasy of wanting to relive your high school years is one of the most enduring premises in all of cinema, like “Back to the Future” or “21 Jump Street,” but “Senior Year” doesn’t belong in the category. .
The film has a decent premise – how does the prom queen culture of the early 2000s transfer to modern times? – but fails to make the most of the potential.
Rebel Wilson stars as Stepanie, a high school student who falls into a coma for 20 years and finds the high school life she once knew is gone.
If you expected a Rebel Wilson comedy to have a glimpse of changing cultural norms outside of well-worn pop culture references, you’re seriously mistaken.
There’s a dramatic premise to tap into here, and the film occasionally hints at what it would be like to lose the best years of your life through no fault of your own.
Some scenes explore how people cling to the person they were in school and how that ended up following them into adulthood, and in those little moments there’s almost a sense of pathos. Kenneth Lonergan in the screenplay.
In the flashback scenes, we get glimpses of a more dramatically gratifying film with which a better script would have been executed and serve as a commentary on the nostalgia warnings.
Then the character of Rebel Wilson references a song from 2002 and any dramatic weight, the script goes out the window.
Between that and “The Adam Project,” Netflix films have an almost prodigious ability to stumble upon better and more dramatically rich films in their own generic movies without realizing it.
The Rebel Wilson brand of comedy is a good choice here, with the fish out of water act working up to a point.
A good comedic performance can help hide the cracks in a bad script, and Rebel Wilson certainly does his best here.
At the end of the improbable 100-minute run (FAO editors, 85 minutes, max!), Wilson passes the challenge of “TVs are different now” to uncover influencer culture.
10 years after breaking out in ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Bridesmaids’, Wilson’s brand of comedy has barely evolved from just being the irreverent Aussie, and fans of the actress will find plenty to love here.
The film is almost a sidekick to “Peggy Sue Got Married,” with the central idea of going back to school with an older head on younger shoulders, an appealing premise for any viewer.
As established, Alex Hardcastle is not Francis Ford Coppolla and Rebel Wilson is not Kathleen Turner.
Hardcastle makes his directorial debut with this film, with “The Office US”, “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation” under his belt, and the film feels like a 2 hour sitcom episode.
Other directors have gone from directing sitcoms to blockbusters – just ask the Russo Brothers – but Hardcastle lacks the visual imagination to do anything interesting,
When your comedy movie has the same cinematography and lighting as a yogurt or health insurance commercial, something is wrong somewhere.
‘Clueless’ and ‘Bring It On’ look like a Wong Kar-Wai movie compared to ‘Senior Year’.
Watching a feature film from a sitcom sounds fun, but your brain feels like it’s on fire after watching a movie like this for 100 minutes.
A decent roster of TV supporting actors make up the roster, with Chris Parnell, Sam Richardson and Zoë Chao helping put meat on whatever script they have to work with.
Netflix’s penchant for licensing pop hits to be used for 10 seconds at a time also does the film a disservice and helps make the film feel like a glorified TV episode rather than a movie. .
Admittedly, expecting a movie like this to exceed 3 stars is asking a lot, and for what it is, “Senior Year” fills the role of a perfectly disposable movie you’ll watch once and you’ll never think about it again. .
For Rebel Wilson fans or people who want to relive the heady days of the early 2000s, the movie offers one, maybe two laughs.
For the rest of us, you can replicate the experience of watching “Senior Year” for free by putting on a Spotify playlist of 2002 pop hits and stopping every 30 seconds to comment on how it looked. stupid in fashion at the time.
Between that and “The Pentaverate,” Netflix isn’t exactly making a fiery attempt to keep subscribers on their service.
Mid-budget comedy is something a good studio should be able to put out in its sleep, and Netflix can’t even pull it off.
When Ken Burns directs the inevitable 10-part documentary about Netflix’s collapse, “Senior Year” will get its own episode.