- Movie Rating -

Senior Year (2022)

| May 14, 2022

Netflix’s Senior Year is an annoying hi-concept comedy that takes a potentially interesting premise and waterlogs it with bad sitcom-style writing.  An overcaffeinated 12-year-old could have written this.

The subject in question is what happens when a high school senior gets into an accident, slips into a coma and wakes up 20 years later suddenly realizing that the world has changed and all of her friends have grown up and moved on.  The weight of this premise is 12-feet thick, so why do the filmmakers treat it with such broad stupidity?

The movie opens in 1999 with young Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice), a rather shallow high school senior whose trajectory is really only to fit in with the popular kids.  She changes her look, puts on trendy clothes and gets a make-over all to fit in with a bunch of obnoxious popular kids that deserve each other.  She’s also on the cheerleading squad, a position that results in a comical mishap that leads to a head injury that puts her in a coma for the next two decades.

Cut forward to the present day where Stephanie wakes up from her coma and leaps right out of bed (not even remotely possible) and stuns everyone.  She becomes a media celebrity, but more importantly is the cold-water treatment that the world has changed.  Stephanie is now in her 40s (and played by Rebel Wilson) but her brain is still 18 and she decides to make up for lost time by going back to high school so that she can pick up where she left off, including being a teenager (also, not even remotely possible).  

Now, think for a second about this premise.  A teenager wakes up from a coma after 20 years into a confusing post-COVID morass of woke social anxieties, sexual identity politics, social media wars, racial instability and social distancing.  Yes, those things are addressed but they are played for over-cooked broad comedy that misses the opportunity to really comment on them.  Imagine this character taking a step back and looking at all that we’ve been through in the last six years through fresh eyes.

Also, imagine the drama.  Imagine waking up and realizing that you’ve missed the best years of your life, that all that you knew had changed and everyone had grown up and moved past you.  Imagine the toll that having been in a coma for that long would have taken on your body?  What are the procedures?  What would Stephanie’s recovery be like?  How would she really adjust?  I know that I’m overthinking this but these questions were far more interesting to me than watching Rebel Wilson stuff herself into a cheerleader uniform and doing pratfalls.  What a waste.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy