SENIOR YEAR (2022)
Release Date: 07/22/22 [Netflix]
"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."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Before you read this review, you should know that I’m a big fan of Rebel Wilson. I loved her in the Pitch Perfect movies and I adored her in 2019’s Isn’t it Romantic.
I love her comedic timing and delivery, her knack for physical comedy and perhaps most of all, her penchant for epic dance numbers at the end of just about every movie she’s in. She is the reigning queen of inappropriate humor and wears the crown well.
With that said, perhaps it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed Senior Year. It features Rebel in a lead role that suits her perfectly.
Is the movie itself perfect? No, of course not. It’s a silly rom-com with 90s flair and typical Rebel Wilson immature humor at times. Still, I found myself chuckling throughout – and I dare you not to laugh during her big fall. I didn’t want to, but I just couldn’t help myself.
At its core, Senior Year is about the meaninglessness of the ever-present, desperate search for coolness, hotness and a dream life.
As a senior in high school, Stephanie forsakes her friends in pursuit of popularity, landing the hottest guy in school and the role of cheer captain. She maintains an ongoing rivalry with her cheer nemesis, Tiffany.
Just before the end of her senior year – and her long-awaited Prom where she hopes to be crowned queen – Stephanie has a near deadly cheerleading accident (try not to laugh and cringe when it happens).
“I went down like a bag of dicks,” she later muses.
When our heroine awakes from a coma 20 years later, she has aged physically but remains the same shallow teen emotionally and mentally. She feels she cannot move on to the next chapter of her life until she goes back to HS and finishes out her senior year and Prom.
However, times have changed! Not only is she now living in the woke, PC world of 2022, but her high school boyfriend has married her nemesis and they are living in Stephanie’s dream house. Her former best friend is now the principal.
There are several funny moments as Stephanie learns about the new world she’s woken up in. Teachable moments, too – like when she notes that Instagram is the same popularity contest as HS, but now it’s for the whole world and it’s forever.
Rebel’s physical comedy, like gloriously ungraceful falls, are on prime display throughout Senior Year.
There are also some tender, touching moments, such as when Stephanie looks through the yearbook her best friend kept for her and sees the memorials dedicated to her.
Side note: this movie really drives home the motivating power of a good old-school vision board. Forget Pinterest, we need to go back to cutting up actual magazines!
Other stand-out performances include Justin Hartley (best known as heart-throb brother Kevin on This is Us) as the grown-up version of Blaine, the hottest guy in high school. I also really liked Sam Richardson as Stephanie’s doting, patient best friend.
The ultimate message of Senior Year is that the people who love you most should not be taken for granted because actually they are the ones who matter most. Sub-messages include, “why fit in when you are born to stand out” – and “who you are in HS doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life”.
I enjoyed the movie the first time and liked it even more the second time through. I am sure that, as with most Rebel Wilson movies, this will become a familiar favorite to throw on anytime I need a chuckle and the joy of one of her epic closing dance numbers.