Rebel Wilson is much in the news for being outed. Good for her. Her new Netflix feature which critics have hated, is not such an awful film, provided you approach it in the spirit that it is conceived. We critics often make the mistake of applying the same yardstick to all films. We can’t judge Jalsa next to Bhool Bhulaiya.
This Rebel-lius outing storms effortlessly into the citadel of silliness, and stays there lodged mischievously. Like a piece of chicken wedged between two molars, Senior Year won’t go away no matter how much you tongue it. There is a spirit of insatiable insouciance running through the outrageous film. It grabs you by your balls, never mind your gender, and doesn’t let go.
Senior Year is an irreverent film that takes potshots at institutionalized body-shaming. In high school, it is common practice for teens to compare muscles and breasts and to ridicule the poor inadequate soul whose hormones aren’t on high alert.
Stephanie (played by Angorie Rice) won’t take it lying down. She is virulently cosmetic in her attitude to life. She wants to be the sexiest girl on the campus. Playing cheerleader at a basketball event, Stephanie slips and falls on her head….and wakes up twenty years later. Stephanie is now played by Rebel Wilson who is a producer on the project. Hence from this point onwards in the pert cocky screenplay(Andrew Knauer, Arthur Pielli, and Brandon Scott Jones), it is Rebel who rules.
She is in her element, negotiating the time-passage comedy with lip-smacking relish. The best joke about how much the world has changed, or even better, not changed is when Stephanie looks at a magazine cover and exclaims, “Madonna now calls herself Lady Gaga?”
Right. Just as Lucille Ball now calls herself Rebel Wilson. And the time-travel comedy seems to have travelled a long way from Back To The Future. Senior Year is not ambitious enough to be compared with Back To The Future Or Time Machine or that Australian cult film on cultural anachronism Crocodile Dundee. But it is smartly written and a neat showcase for Rebel Wilson, although I will always maintain that Rebel’s closest comedic competitor Amy Schumer is far funnier, Rebel comes close to hitting a sixer with this one.
If only it had stuck to its grins. Towards the end, Stephanie’s bete noire the prom queen from twenty years earlier (Alicia Silverstone of Clueless) shows up as a cab driver, thereby serving up a tawdry moral lesson on destiny’s hard knocks which this blithe comedy could have done without.
Rating:** ½ (2.5/5)
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