By Cynthia Ayala
“A case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes.” —IMDB
Who doesn’t like a good retelling, especially one that involved a great ensemble. It’s a fun retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac following Sierra (Shannon Purser) as she texts with one guy who thinks that she is the most popular girl in school. So with the help of Veronica (Kristine Froseth) they keep up the ruse. It’s a fun romance movie, and of course it has it’s flaws but we’ll get to it those in just a second.
It’s a good film for the young adult audience or anyone interested in a fun love story. But it also deals with high school issues like insecurity, romance, peer pressure and loving oneself. These are all humanizing qualities in a film because it makes the characters resonate with the audience. They are believable and the film, well it ends in a different way than the original play, it ends on a lighter note, a more hopeful one, as it teaches self-love. That’s part of the charm of this film, that these characters, well they all must overcome various obstacles in their live. Veronica is supposed to be the mean girl, but through her relationship with Sierra she starts to blossom and fight against the world that would have her believe that her worth is in her looks and not in her brain, while Sierra learns to love herself, she learns to see the beauty in herself and her own voice, learning to cherish those facets of herself that make her special outside of what people think of her.
That’s important in films these days that women see themselves as find their what they think of themselves, that loving themselves is more important than what the world wants or demands. Personally, I loved that about the film, how it moved and built the film not just around the romance, but also around that.
Of course, near the end of the film Sierra does lash out quite inappropriately at the people around her, but, again, it’s about high school and young adult really act based on emotion, let’s face it, we all did things without thinking, we hurt people without thinking either on purpose or accidentally, so it’s realistic. And no, Sierra didn’t feel any repercussions, not really, which is problematic. Something other than her being grounded should have happened, especially when you have a film directed at a young audience, the audience needs to discover that there are serious consequences for the actions she took. Yes it’s a romance film, and yes, she deserves to get her happy ending, but serious action should have been taken considering what she did. It would have been another teaching moment in the film and wouldn’t have detracted from the overall meaning of the film.
Overall, it is still a good movie and a great modern retelling, and that’s part of the charm of the film, the power it has, the lightness and heart and many teaching moments it offers audiences. (★★★☆ | B)
Directed by Ian Samuels
Written by Lindsey Beer
Distributed by Netflix