The Reel Review

C+

Rebel Wilson stars in this Netflix comedy about a vapid high school cheer captain who emerges from a 20-year coma caused by a head injury to pursue her dream of finally becoming prom queen. But when she returns to finish her senior year, she discovers high school has changed a lot over the past two decades.

Avantika, Rebel Wilson and Michael Cimino in Senior Year.

Wilson showcases her now familiar, winsome comic talents, which makes the comedy that much more frustrating, given how bland and predictable its fish-out-of-water screenplay is. The supporting cast includes Sam Richardson (Veep, Wearwolves Within) and Mary Holland (Happiest Season) as the misfit friends who stuck by Stephanie while she was bedridden for two decades, Justin Hartley (This Is Us) as the high school quarterback/boyfriend who ended up marrying her archrival, and most impressive of all, Angourie Rice (Mare of Easttown, Spider-Man: No Way Home), whose portrait of the younger, pre-coma Stephanie is a shockingly good, spot-on impersonation of Wilson.

Sam Richardson and Rebel Wilson in Senior Year.

The film pokes fun at the focus on political correctness in high school today, without making it clear whether it thinks wokeness is a good thing or not. That confusing messaging aside, the film does have a fair number of chuckles. If you have a couple of hours to kill, are a huge Wilson fan, and in the mood for mindless entertainment then the breezy comedy may be right up your alley. But for most, Senior Year is probably worth skipping.

REEL FACTS

Senior Year is the second Rebel Wilson Netflix comedy featuring her character coming out of a coma, after 2019’s Isn’t It Romantic.

• In the movie, Stephanie has a poster of the 1995 movie Clueless in her bedroom. Clueless star Alicia Silverstone has a cameo near the end of the film.

• The Mandy Moore song “Candy” is prominent in Senior Year. Moore plays Justin Hartley’s mother on the drama series This is Us.

 

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