After a cheerleading stunt puts a young Stephanie (Angourie Rice) in a coma, she awakens 20 years later as a 37 year-old Rebel Wilson – ready to get back into school and see out her dream of becoming prom queen.
As ridiculous as that premise sounds, Senior Year is actually a decently fun ride that benefits greatly from a sizeable hit of 90s nostalgia. It’s very much one of those Netflix comedies with a straightforward narrative you know is going to play out with very few surprises. That approach works in this case because it doesn’t really take itself too seriously and lets the actors have fun with the silliness of everything going on. Seeing the actors be able to just enjoy themselves gives the story a bit of a boost – more than if it was trying to take its premise seriously. Despite the narrative being very cruisy throughout, there’s actually a decent amount of foresight and foreshadowing – more than I’d have expected.
When the film kicks off, it focuses on a young Stephanie played by Angourie Rice. I think Angourie is a very talented young actress, so it was a shame to see her part be so minimal. I’d have loved an entire film focusing on a young Stephanie if it meant more Angourie – but that obviously would defeat the purpose of the film. Rebel Wilson on the other hand is really lovable. She’s a naturally funny person and has great comedic timing. Some bits don’t work as well, such as the occasional physical comedy moment, but I enjoyed her antics in the lead role. There were a good number of lightly comedic bits to maintain an upbeat vibe and each of the actors really play their part. I also thoroughly enjoyed watching Mary Holland as Martha. I’ve enjoyed seeing her in other supporting roles and she once again brings some valuable heart and comedy to this film.
As I mentioned earlier, this film benefits from its focus on 90s nostalgia. Whether it be the 90s pop culture references in the set design and dialogue or the upbeat RnB tunes, it added an extra layer of enjoyment for me as someone who loves 90s content. Those elements don’t make a great movie, but they up the entertainment factor.
In the end, there’s not too many other points to cover with Senior Year. It’s by no means a great film and it’s also definitely not a bad film. The narrative silly and predictable, but it’s still a fun watch because it doesn’t take itself seriously. Rebel Wilson is a natural comedic talent and brings a vibrant atmosphere to every scene, while the supporting cast also does well to elevate their respective scenes with some heart and humour. If you’re looking for something you can shut your mind off and enjoy on a Friday night, this is one for you!