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6 Oct

3 times popular Netflix films failed to impress

Netflix-ing: The act of watching an entire season of a show in one sitting or a valid excuse to avoid social obligations



When was the last time you actually sat down and thought, “what am I going to do today?” Possibly, very long ago and partly due to Netflix. The platform is not only a library of some of the greatest shows and movies of all time, but it also bestows us with original content, exclusively available on the site. However, while many ‘originals’ have gone on to garner massive success, recently, some content has not gone down well with the viewers mainly because of their storylines or the lack thereof.

So, we took the task upon ourselves and made a list of three Netflix movies that did not go as planned…

 

Sierra Burgess is a Loser

 

 

The story revolves around the eponymous Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser), who is focused on her academics and because of her looks, is usually made fun of. It is not until a jock named Jamey (Noah Centineo) texts her assuming she is Veronica (Kristine Froseth) that she gets romantically involved with someone. Veronica later reveals to Sierra that as a prank, she gave Jamey her number. The two continue talking despite the fact that Jamey truly does not know who he is talking to and what Sierra looks like.

The story has several problematic areas. To start off, Jamey is kept in the dark about the whole truth of who Sierra really is and the fact that she is not Veronica. She pretends to be deaf and mute when the duo coincidentally has an interaction in the park, just so that he does not recognize her voice. This did not go down well with the audience mainly because Jamey is accompanied by his deaf and mute brother.  Here’s an excerpt from Mashable‘s review of the movie:

“In a social climate where women struggle to be understood and have their feelings and experiences validated, Sierra Burgess is not a great look. Sierra kisses Jamey when his eyes are closed; he thinks he’s kissing Veronica, so there’s no consent. At best, this disconcerting scene may help viewers understand boundaries. At its worst, Sierra and Veronica look highly manipulative and could be used to discredit a whole gender and the entire demographic of teenage girls.”

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

 

 

This movie which was the first in the series of rom-com releases by Netflix strung a chord with a lot of its viewers but at the same time, was called out for its lack of inclusivity of people of colour.

The movie stars Lana Condor as Lara Jean, who plays the protagonist of the film. The story revolves around five love letters that Lara Jean writes in her early teens to five of her crushes but never intends to send them out. It has been debated why she addresses the letters, to begin with if she never wanted to send them out?

The highly popular, Peter Kavinsky’s character is played by Noah Centineo, who is a jock in this movie (again). Lara’s letters get sent to all five of her crushes, thanks to her 11-year old sister. One of her letters is addressed to her sister’s boyfriend who she had a crush on. But in order to avoid him, she fake-kisses Peter Kavinsky and insinuates that the two are dating. The duo decided to ‘fake a relationship’ so that Lara could save herself from the letter fiasco and Peter can make his now ex-girlfriend jealous.

Lara Jean is played by Lana Codor, who is Vietnamese but is portrayed as a Korean-Caucasian playing into the stereotype that all Asians look the same. Furthermore, the all-white male cast became a huge topic of debate. Though the movie is set in the 90s, to recreate a movie which lacks inclusivity goes to show that Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to acceptance.

According to a review by Andrew LY:

“It singles out white males as the more attractive and appealing sexual companion, while everyone else is taken off the menu. Everyone else is either gay or unimportant and thus predetermined and eliminated from the pool of sexual compatibility with Lara Jean by default.”

 

SPF-18

 

The movie which stars Noah Centineo again is a story about Johnny, who is still mourning the sudden demise of his father. The story which fails to engage the audience or keep them glued to their couches, revolves around teenagers who get together at Keanu Reeve’s house who asks Johnny to house-sit for him while he is gone. The movie seems like a drag which no clear motive and just continues to go on for 75 minutes.

According to ELLE’s review:

“If you’re after an equally heartwarming and interesting plot line as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, this probably isn’t for you. If, however, you’re just after Noah Centineo in all his shirtless glory, then bingo.”

If anything, we have established that Noah Centineo is the new heartthrob for Netflix original films and surprisingly, all his films continue to be downright problematic.

What do you think? Share your thoughts.

Ayesha Ghaffar

The author is a Sub-Editor at Something Haute and a fresh Journalism graduate from SZABIST. She is paving the way for her future in the field of media and reporting. When she is not working, she is busy watching Penguin videos and staying away from cats.