Senior Year

A cheerleading stunt gone wrong landed her in a 20-year coma. Now she’s 37, newly awake and ready to live out her high school dream: becoming prom queen.

Year: 2022
Certificate: 15
Runtime: 1hr 53m
Director: Alex Hardcastle
Starring: Rebel WilsonZoë ChaoSam RichardsonMary HollandJustin HartleyChris ParnellAngourie RiceMichael CiminoJeremy Ray TaylorBrandon Scott JonesAlicia SilverstoneJoshua ColleyJade BenderAvantika

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Sometimes you just want to watch a silly film where you can switch your brain off and sit back and enjoy without needing to think too hard. So when we saw the trailer and synopsis for “Senior Year” we figured this was one of those moments. Sure, “Stranger Things” is great, and the latest true crime series like “Our Father” is incredibly interesting but sometimes thinking and concentrating is hard so we had a break from “Stranger Things” and loaded up “Senior Year”

You can tell from the synopsis that “Senior Year” isn’t going to be a realistic film. A cheerleader has an accident, ends up in a coma for 20 years and returns to school as a 37 year old. Yeah, like that would happen? So just switch off and enjoy the story. The film starts with our main character Stephanie (Rebel Wilson) talking about her life growing up in Australia and how her family moved to California. We see a young Stephanie during this time and the voiceover explains how in order to fit in and find friends she basically had to become a bitchy teenager – not too different from the kind you see in many 90s films. You know the kinds – always sucking up to whoever is the ‘coolest’ or ‘prettiest’ or best at sports. It’s pretty sickening to be honest but it’s how things were in the late 90’s and early 2000’s in films, at least).

Fast forward through the film’s story and it is 2002; Stephanie is dating the high school football champ and close to becoming Prom Queen but an accident during a cheerleading routine results in her ending up in hospital in a coma… for 20 years… When she wakes up, as you can imagine, hilarity ensues as she has to readjust to her new life in 2022 and all the social and technological changes herein.

I’ve been very flippant so far in this review and I do feel a bit bad about it. “Senior Year” is, contrary to any impression I’ve given so far, a decent film – admittedly the story comes across as a bit predictable but it does tell a good story. As Stephanie realises that her old life has either completely gone or moved on we start to see her struggle with just how much the world has changed in those 20 years. Words and phrases that were common place in the early 2000’s that are now, rightly, frowned upon; the better acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and gender identity etc. Some may complain about the film’s ‘wokeness’ (like that’s a bad thing?!) but for me it was actually quite interesting seeing how much the world has changed because, and I’ll be brutally honest here, I couldn’t stand the younger Stephanie from the start of the film and it made me want to turn it off.

Stephanie’s best friend from high school, Martha (Mary Holland), grew up to be the principal and her other friend, Seth (Sam Richardson), the librarian of the same school. Martha was persuaded by Stephanie and her father to be able to finish high school – her father’s reasons being that she could get an education, Stephanie’s? Well, she just wanted a chance at being Prom Queen again… But it doesn’t take long for her to learn that being popular in 2022 is very different to being popular in 2002 and she realises that she needs to change her ways in order to succeed.

Overall I enjoyed “Senior Year”. Yes, it was a little predictable at times but it was silly, funny, crude, and a bit serious when it needed to be. The overall story was about a horrible teenager becoming a decent person again and used the platform to point out the faults of past generations. I’m not sure I would go out of my way to watch it again, but it certainly wasn’t a waste of nearly 2 hours – and it didn’t feel like it dragged out at all.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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