Shealea reacts to: Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018) – 101 thoughts while watching

After reading about the negative criticism and social media backlash against the movie recently released in Netflix, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018), I had absolutely no intention of watching it. I mean, I have seen glowing remarks from a few blogger friends, but my reservations about supporting a film with allegedly offensive material regarding the LGBTQ+ community and allegedly problematic plus-size representation outweighed my curiosity.

However, in the long weekend that I spent back in the province (and miles away from the dreadful noise and abundant pollution of Metro Manila – thank the universe), my little sister invited me to watch Sierra Burgess Is a Loser with her. It turned out that the little pirate had illegally downloaded* a copy, which made me feel less horrible about indirectly supporting the film.

* I’m staunchly against pirating entertainment material, but I am also honest enough to admit that I have very little qualms about unpaid downloads of harmful and/or problematic material. Consider it a small act of rebellion and protest.

I’ve decided against writing a full review of this film because (1) I think there are enough critical, profound commentaries on Sierra Burgess Is a Loser that can more eloquently discuss the issues in the film than I ever could; (2) I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands; and (3) I’m too lazy to write a detailed review.

Instead, I’ve decided to share 101 of my thoughts as I watched Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, which, I believe, nicely and sufficiently represent my opinion on its content. I tried my best not to delve too much into the big spoilers of the film, but proceed with caution* anyway! Things are about to get really angry and occasionally yell-y.

* Warning: There are a few instances of swearing and muttering of profanities. As well as arguably abusive usage of CAPS LOCK and question marks.

1. Okay, here we go. I’m a wee bit nervous because of all the online flak this movie has been receiving.

2. A magnificent beast – should I start telling myself that in the morning, too?

3. Oh no, is this a gay, black best friend? I hope his character is well-developed and won’t turn out to be a caricature.

4. Writing original poetry!!! Yes, that’s an academic requirement I’d love to work on (even though my poems suck to a highly embarrassing extent).

5. First appearance of Noah Centineo!

6. I would feel giddy if I didn’t stumble across his tweets – most of which resemble the Tumblr page of a preteen in 2011. So yeah. No thanks, Noah. I am now immune to your charms and (ridiculously) nice smile.

7. Yeah, who would want to date a dude who immediately sends selfies to girls he doesn’t know (or just met)? If that’s not a manifestation of stupidity, I don’t know what is.

8. Sending each other photos of animals kissing? That’s considered flirting now?

9. Shirtless Noah. Okay.

10. Shirtless Noah selfie. Okay.

11. I really don’t get why they’re into each other. Their conversations are so dreadfully boring.

12. Noah got shot in the crotch area. 😂😂😂

13. I love Dan. Dan is a great friend omg.

14. “They’re my words. He’s falling for me.” – EWW. GIRL, HAVE SOME SENSE OF
DIGNITY.

15. “Even chromosomes can find their mates.” – Um??? I’m sorry, what? Did I hear that correctly or.

16. Oh my god, she’s bringing more people into her catfishing scheme???

17. 20,000 followers and 0 following. Wow, what an airhead.

18. Veronica’s room is honestly so pretty and feminine!!! This is the aesthetic I would love to see every day.

19. Having little sisters is pretty chaotic, yep. As a panganay, this is the first thing I can relate to.

20. YES TO SPOKEN WORD POETRY!!!

21. YAAAAAAS GIRL. SPEAK THAT TRUTH. SET THAT BAR. OWN THAT BEAT. 🔥🔥🔥

22. Ooh, I love the neon glow coloring in this scene. My kind of cinematography.

23. The “butt sex” guy to refer to Greek philosophers. As someone who’s taken multiple philosophy electives, this is a common joke.

24. Damn, I hate how some girls are resigned into thinking that they need to exploit themselves to earn someone else’s attention (e.g. sending nudes).

25. Also, who takes selfies of themselves crying and sends them out???

26. Noah has the voice of a perpetually hungover dude.

27. “Maybe you should get sick more often.” — Wow, somewhere out there, William Shakespeare and Pablo Neruda are rolling in their respective graves.

28. Fat voices??? Is that a thing.

29. Really. Boring. Phone. Conversations.

30. Sierra and Jamey don’t even have any kind of chemistry together. Noah, stick with Lana Condor please.

31. Roses aren’t even that pretty, to be completely honest. Much less, be the queen of flowers. Peonies and sunflowers are where it’s at!

32. Oh no, Facetime — the absolute nightmare of any catfisher.

33. Standing up for women’s rights just to improve your resume? God, don’t at me, you awful human being.

34. Um, was that a joke about schizophrenia?

35. OH MY GOD. MOST PITIFUL ATTEMPT AT RUNNING TRACK. 😂😂😂

36. Throwing up after a run — it me, fam.

37. More talking about Greek philosophers. Is this the universe telling me I should get started on my Philo 110 readings?

38. Oh no, the way Veronica smiled at what he said.

39. Pink and purple neon aesthetic!!! I’M 100% HERE FOR THIS.

40. Ah, and now Sierra and Veronica have become friends.

41. Sierra can sing. Wow.

42. Surprisingly, I actually like that yellow sweater. Looks comfy as hell.

43. Why would you say yes to a date?

44. I agree. You ARE in deep shit.

45. What’s the Asian girl’s name? Did I miss it.

46. ARE YOU A CATFISH OR A CAN’T FISH? I AM CRYING. 😂😂😂

47. I LOVE DAN. DAN IS MY CLEAR FAVORITE.

48. Noah with a little brother is a really adorable thing to see.

49. Pretending to be deaf? Jokes about being intersex people and using the term ‘hermaphrodite’??? Um. How tasteless and offensive.

50. Yep, Dan is no longer my favorite character.

51. What do you mean, you guys had a moment??? He was just being polite, you delusional twit.

52. More neon lighting! I seriously, seriously love this cinematography.

53. Sierra being a creepy stalker.

54. What even is a skinny voice???

55. Cool car.

56. Noah trying to be poetic about stars. I don’t know why I find that pretentious. But blech.

57. Cockblocked by Sierra. Damn.

58. THIS IS NOT OKAY. THIS IS NOT OKAY. THIS IS NOT OKAY!

59. THIS DOES NOT COUNT AS A CONSENSUAL KISS.

60. THIS IS SO EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATIVE AND DISGUSTING.

61. AND THIS IS FRAMED AS SOMETHING ROMANTIC AND TO BE GIDDY OVER?!

62. Oh my god, I am gagging.

63. I am legitimately, seriously in love with Veronica’s bedroom. I want to have it for myself.

64. Unlikely friends going to a stereotypical high school party. How new and refreshing. (Yes, this is sarcasm.)

65. Wait, who is the asshat in the dark room?

66. OH, THAT’S SPENCE.

67. Spence has bad, hard-looking, likely-to-be-over-gelled hair. I fail to see how he’s attractive.

68. OH NO, WHAT IS HAPPENING?

69. VERONICA, LEAVE HIS ASS. GIRL, WALK AWAY. WALK. AWAY.

70. Oh my god, Noah has incredibly adorable pajamas, to be honest. 10/10 would snuggle with him.

71. Drunk confessions. Oh no.

72. Kids who party have low self-esteem??? Come on, parents. It’s 2018.

73. Okay, I don’t like Dan’s jokes and sense of humor. Nonetheless, Sierra is being a terrible, terrible friend to him.

74. OH NO, VERONICA!!! POOR VERONICA. CAN I HUG HER?

75. Why are Noah’s smiles so impossibly cute? Damn.

76. NOAH IS NUMBER 14. OH MY GOD, THAT IS MY LUCKY NUMBER AND BIRTHDAY!

77. Something bad is probably going to happen. I can feel it in my bones.

78. Oof, there it is. I called it.

79. But Sierra, you’re a lying, manipulative bitch so I have no sympathy for you at all.

80. Oh my god, Sierra, wHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???

81. SIERRA, WHAT DID YOU DO?

82. OH NO, PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO LOOK AT THEIR PHONES. WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT?!

83. OH NO.

84. OH MY GOD, VERONICA. I AM SO MAD AT SIERRA.

85. This is now an utter shit show. Great job, Sierra, you fucking vindictive bitch.

86. SPILL THAT TEA, VERONICA. SPILL. THAT. TEA.

87. EVEN DAN KNOWS YOU’RE BEING A PIECE OF SHIT, SIERRA.

88. Girl, don’t use your low self-esteem and negative body image as an excuse for being a total bitch. Your insecurities don’t excuse your bad behavior or you deliberately ruining other people’s reputations!!!

89. No, Sierra isn’t very special. Oh my god, why are good things still happening to this girl? She doesn’t deserve anything.

90. I hope this movie ends with Sierra being alone and miserable forever. What an awful, awful person. It has nothing to do with her body shape or size (just to be clear). She’s just awful and terrible and all the negative adjectives out there.

91. But then again, it sucks that the movie decided to portray plus-size women this way. Demonizing girls like Sierra who share similar insecurities about their bodies does nothing to combat the stigma against fat people.

92. I wish this film didn’t exist. It’s so irresponsibly made and fatphobic.

93. Oh, wow, what a pretty song. I’d rather be a sunflower than a rose though.

94. Yes, Veronica, STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!!! YES GIRL. YES.

95. Veronica looking gorgeous as hell!!! I love her!!!

96. GOD, NO. IS SIERRA GOING TO GET A HAPPY ENDING? FUCK NO.

97. BITCH DID NOT EVEN APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT SHE DID. SHE DOES NOT DESERVE ANY CONSIDERATION.

98. ”Not exactly everybody’s type but you are exactly my type.” – Gross as fuck. How is this even romantic?

99. Oh my god, this movie just totally ruined sunflowers for me. How dare they? SUNFLOWERS ARE MY FAVORITE KIND OF FLOWERS.

100. VERONICA AND NOAH BOTH DESERVE BETTER!!! Fight me.

101. This movie makes me so angry. Ugh.

In summary, I outright hated this film. Aside from the clear offensive remarks towards particular marginalized communities and the thoughtless, irresponsible representation that antagonizes plus-size folks, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser has no other redeeming aspect outside of the occasionally pretty aesthetic (e.g. the neon-washed scenes and Veronica’s bedroom).

This film contains a lot of unpleasant, harmful messages that are framed as acceptable, and at times, even encouraged.

As a love story, it is awful not just because Jamey and Sierra totally lacked any kind of chemistry or believable connection, but also, and more importantly, it romanticizes the practice of catfishing and frames a scene involving a non-consensual kiss as romantic and worth swooning over.

In line with this, as a friendship story, it is awful because Sierra never apologizes for her harmful actions (most especially the lengths she went to ruin her “friend” Veronica’s reputation) and is immediately absolved and forgiven instead. Sierra is never held properly accountable for what she did!

In other words, no matter the angle you use to view and analyze this film, Sierra Is a Loser is undoubtedly irresponsible, toxic, and harmful. I am actively encouraging people against supporting this horrible, horrible film.

Let’s hear from you!

🌻 Have you watched Sierra Is a Loser, and if you did, what are your thoughts on the film? More importantly, what are your thoughts on Noah Centineo’s tweets?

🌻 What books have you read that portray plus-size people accurately and positively? Which of these books would you like to have a film adaptation of?

🌻 Out of curiosity, would you be interested in reading more ‘101 thoughts while watching’ posts on my blog? Or do you still prefer full-length film reviews?

Like this post? Then share it on social media platforms (see buttons at the bottom of this post!) or maybe consider sending a cup of coffee my way?

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Published by

Shealea

First of her name. Queen of lists and spreadsheets. Protector of books. Breaker of norms. Iskolar ng bayan.

18 thoughts on “Shealea reacts to: Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018) – 101 thoughts while watching”

  1. My thoughts are the same!! Such a shitty movie, literally everything you just said. Also I love this 101 thoughts style of reviewing better than an actual review, it’s just so much more fun to read 😊

    Like

  2. I’ve read so many negative reviews and I just don’t want to watch this anymore??? I was so excited the first time I saw the trailer but there seems to be nothing redeeming about it.

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  3. I had really high hopes for this movie! But I actually liked this movie in a way that Sierra was such a teenager and hypocritical biotch, I was amused by her most of the time. And I did like the focus on the female friendship. But yeah, that ending was awful. AWFUL.

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  4. Yes Shealea! I LOVE this post because you voiced all the thoughts I was having while I watching it. I really didn’t enjoy this film and I found the ableist language, kissing without consent, and emotional manipulation especially harmful. I just can’t believe Sierra wasn’t held accountable for her harmful behavior, and got a happy ending too. Directors and script writers for romance films really need to do better in avoiding writing these awful toxic tropes into their films.

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  5. Wow! This is probably the best review of that film, I’ve ever read or watched! And to think this is a very negative review.

    And oh, did anyone notice that Shealea always call Noah by his real name and not his movie name? 😅✌ i cannot help by not pointing that out. ✌

    Liked by 1 person

  6. oof you’re definitely reaffirming my desire to not watch this movie 😒it’s horrible that they’re validating catfishing and using humor to offend marginalized communities! i’ve heard so many people prefer Veronica by the end of the book, and i hate that Sierra would get away with such awful behavior.

    i really enjoy the 101 thoughts for movie reviews. it’s a nice switch from full length reviews that people normally do, but i’d love reading both versions of yours either way ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve definitely cemented this as a do not watch film, which is good because I hadn’t seen a lot of bad press about it, and wasn’t sure. I also really likes the 101 thoughts format and it’d be cool to see more too 🙂

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  8. Omg, my experience watching the movie was funny because just like you, I had no intention to watch it. But on the day of its release, I was bored, and seeing the flak it was getting, I was suddenly curious because who doesn’t want to jump in to drama, am I right? 😂 Anyway, so I watched it, was horribly astounded as to how offensive it was, and suddenly, my internet was cut off (because it was the middle of the night, everyone was sleeping, so someone turned off), so I didn’t get to finish it. Now, I know I could’ve just easily turned it back on, but I was like, “Do I really want to waste any more time on this trash?” So I didn’t, and I swear that decision made my skin clear and paid my taxes. IT WAS A BAD MOVIE. UGGGGGHHHHH. Why did Netflix ever approve of this crap????????

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  9. YES SHEALEA!! DRAG THIS MOVIE TO HELL!!! Seriously, I had reservations about this movie when the trailer dropped (catfishing stories….. don’t sit well with me) but I had high hopes for it since the lead actress seems charming enough. When the movie did come out, I was not at all surprised that it was problematic. I was however shocked at just /how/ messy the story actually is. Like not only did Sierra catfish this guy, she also ruined her friend’s reputation? Sierra Burgess is NOT a loser. Sierra Burgess is a VILLAIN.

    If the movie had only made Sierra suffer actual consequences in the end – like made her apologize sincerely to the people she hurt – then maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. But nope, they had to end it with such a cop out scene where Sierra basically gets everything she wants. Blegh.

    What I find really interesting is that the movie unintentionally made the audience like and sympathize more with the Mean Girl rather than the MC. They mangled the most basic teen movie moral of “looks aren’t everything”! It’s insane how badly they handled the story.

    Liked by 1 person

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