A woman has a second chance to relive her high school days in this funny Netflix comedy.
Stephanie Conway always wanted to be the most popular girl in school and in her senior year, she finally began living that dream. She became the head cheerleader and she started dating the most popular boy in school, Blaine Balko. This angered Tiffany, Blaine’s ex who thinks she should be queen bee. When Tiffany plots to ruin Stephanie during a cheer routine, little did it know it would be a 20-year mistake as Stephanie lands in a coma for that long.
Awakening in the present day, the now 37-year-old Stephanie still has the mindset of her former self. She learns her best friend Martha is now the principal of the high school they attended. Giving her a chance to show herself, Stephanie re-enters high school. Things have changed so much, and it forces Stephanie to adjust. She’s more in shock when she learns Blaine has married Tiffany and they have a daughter, Bri, who is the most popular girl in school for her social media influencing. With the world changed around her, Stephanie is about to learn the hardest lesson of her life.
Well, we have another former teen to adult tale, something in the vein of Big and 13 Going on 30, where our protagonist grows up, sees how much has changed and learns a valuable lesson in the process. In this case, we have a woman waking up after a 20-year coma and realizing how much has changed in the world around her, and yet she still has the mindset from her past. The gags work well and we get references to not only social media influencing, but even a few viral memes that in one case, led to a laugh out loud moment.
Rebel Wilson, who also produced the film, is actually pretty good. She has been known to play these types of roles, the immature adult. However, this is perhaps the perfect fit for that signature role because of what the film is about. Of course, after waking up after 20 years you are still thinking you’re a teenager but in reality, you are an adult. She goes back to finish her senior year with the support of high school chum Martha, played by Golden Arm’s Mary Holland and well, the friend who had a crush on her for so long, librarian Seth, played by Werewolves Within’s Sam Richardson. There’s also former Saturday Night Live actor Chris Parnell, who goes a more serious route and is great as Stephanie’s dad.
The gags work pretty well as mentioned but hand it to Joshua Colley’s Yaz to churn out the hysterical laugh out loud moment. When Stephanie explains what life was like for her two decades ago, the second she comes up with dating Bri’s dad, Yaz lets out a hilarious rendition of the “Oh my gawwd” viral sound. However, there is also the revived rivalry between Tiffany, now played by Zoe Chao, and Stephanie when she attempts to up her daughter Bri, who to be honest, is a more likable character as she doesn’t care about popularity. Unlike her arrogant mom, Bri likes everyone for who they are and would focus on their strengths rather than see them as inferior. The ending with these films are predictable but still feels satisfying.
Senior Year is not that bad of a film. It actually does help to have a movie that fits Rebel Wilson’s abilities to play “immature adults” with a good story about adjustment and learning from your new experiences…after waking up 20 years later.
WFG RATING: B
Netflix presents a Paramount Classics production. Director: Alex Hardcastle. Producers: Rebel Wilson, Todd Garner, and Chris Bender. Writers: Andrew Knauer, Arthur Pielli, and Brandon Scott Jones. Cinematography: Marco Fargnoli. Editing: Sarah Lucky.
Cast: Rebel Wilson, Sam Richardson, Mary Holland, Chris Parnell, Zoe Chao, Justin Hartley, Joshua Colley, Avantika, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Angourie Rice, Michael Cimino, Jade Bender.