“Once you’ve blown someone’s dad, you realize they’re not that scary.” [Wow that sounds absolutely batshit out of context.]
Genre: Time-Jump Fish Out Of Water Crazyness
Release Date: 2022
Where I Watched: Netflix
Gist: Stephanie Conway was a new kid joke…until she became the most popular girl in high school. But a sabotaged cheer stunt put her in a coma for twenty years. Now that she’s awake (and 37), she’s determined to live out her high school dreams, in the hope that that will give her The Perfect Life going forward. She did it once, she can totally do it again. Right? Absolutely. No problem with changing times or anything. Carry on.
Talky talk: Is this movie good? I mean, totally not, duh. It’s cliché AF and kinda simplistic, with “twists” that can be spotted a mile away. But there are moments where this hits my Aughts nostalgia, while mixing in 20s sensibilities, making me love it. Even though the leftist stereotypes are cranked to eleven in a way that’s really annoying – does anyone but extreme conservatives believe this level of “woke” sillyness?
But there are moments where fellow Olds will be giggling in recognition. My favorite scene? When Stephanie talks the now-uncool cheer team into doing a raunchy performance to Brittany Spears’ “Crazy”. Complete with dream sequence visuals that had me…well, cheering. Plus, This Is Us alum Justin Hartley plays an almost 40-year-old high school has-been, and he looks like he’s having a blast.
And can I take a moment to be so happy that Rebel Wilson is playing a character that doesn’t rely on body image humor? I mean except for her fantastic hooters, which are indeed fantastic. It’s lovely to just see her inhabit a character and not just be a Pitch Perfect fat girl. Way to go, Hollywood. Y’all got one for the year. Let’s do some more, okay? (Plus, she gets to flex a bit of dramatic chops, so that’s pretty cool too.)
The supporting cast is lovely, especially Chris Parnell as Stephanie’s dad. The pre-prom scene where he stares down Steph’s date? Gold. Pity the overall plot is so boilerplate,with a story nobody needs to follow raptly. But who cares? The soundtrack is hilariously slamming in the best way, the performers are fantastic (especially Joshua Colley as my dream son, Yaz.) So basically, if you’re down for a movie that’s meh in film student lingo, but fun irl? Boom. Mic drop.
Come for: A movie that sounds like a bit of fluffy Aughts nostalgia.
Stay for: A movie that totally doesn’t ask much of you, but has moments of fun, thanks to a super-game cast that’s all in.