‘Rated A – Crude Language’ is the first thing Netflix flashes on the screen when you stream the 2022 comedy film ‘Senior Year’ starring Rebel Wilson. So brace yourself from some cringe-y jokes, inappropriate gestures, bunch of cuss words and some amount of hilarity in between.
Directed by Alex Hardcastle, this film is a straight-up mash between Jennifer Garner’s ’13 Going on 30′ and Drew Barrymore’s ‘Never Been Kissed’. Rebel Wilson plays ‘Prom Captain’ Stephanie Conway, who wakes up as a 37-year-old after being comatose for 20 long years; the last thing she remembers doing is a cheer-leading routine as a 17-year-old. Having lost two decades of her life, Stephanie goes back to finish her senior year and aims to win Prom Queen. Can a 90s kid who has never held a cellphone in her life survive school in 2022?
For large parts ‘Senior Year’ plays out like a parody of every American Prom-theme movie ever made, but with a post #MeToo era update, where cheerleaders are fully-dressed and dance about ‘consent’. You get the same old ‘dorky girl wants to be popular, ignores her real friends and family to be with the cooler kids’ theme at the center of it all. The script is feeble, with some terrible jokes that’ll give you second-hand embarrassment. Its the energetic cast led by Rebel Wilson that keeps the film entertaining, especially the younger bunch.
I absolutely loved Joshua Colley as the spirited Yaz who rocks gender-fluid outfits like a star, he stands out even while casually sitting in the background. Actor Avantika plays his best-friend Janet is also adorable as a young brown teen who aspires to be nothing less than the future American President. Mary Holland and Sam Richardson play the most level-headed characters in the film, they are both Stephanie’s closest friends and happen to be there to help her navigate school again. Rebel on her part goes overboard while exaggerating her body language to seem like a teen stuck in an adult’s body, however, very few actors would perhaps have pulled off all the weird comedic gestures she is made to do.
For a comedy movie, the runtime is longer than necessary and could’ve been sharper. The makers try to cash on pop-culture nostalgia, so a lot of the soundtrack are older hits that viewers will immediately recognize. There’s a whole dance tribute to Britney Spear’s song ‘You Drive Me Crazy’, and it’s actually quite fun to watch. The climax gets surprisingly emotional, with a Drew Barrymore cameo that pops out of nowhere! And there’s a decent enough message squeezed in too, one we’ve seen too many times, but guess it never gets old – be yourself.
It’s a 6/10 from me. Five for the film, an extra one for the cast.
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