“Senior Year” is another abysmal, painfully unfunny comedy that wastes a terrific premise. Fish out of water stories are usually enjoyable and amusing, but this one is a colossal, disastrous flop.
High school cheerleader Stephanie (Angourie Rice) is in a freak pep rally accident and falls into a coma days before prom. After living in a hospital bed unaware of her condition, Stephanie wakes up twenty years later. No matter that she’s now a grown woman approaching 40: the older version of Stephanie (Rebel Wilson) wants to return to high school and become the prom queen.
It’s a terrific idea for a comedy, but the end result has few laughs. Wilson is just not funny, and her brand of comedy coupled with her limited acting talent isn’t strong enough to carry a feature film. She feels like she’s trying too hard, overdoing it in every scene. Wilson lacks appeal and making matters worse, her character is an unlikable jerk. It’s like the project was doomed from the start.
Director Alex Hardcastle phones it in as well, doing the bare minimum that’s required at the helm of a movie. Instead of crafting a film with a solid story and substance, he instead chooses to provide a laundry list that mentions as many pop culture references from the 90s as possible. There are too many music montages and dance sequences instead of actual storytelling, and it’s remarkably lazy.
The script (which is credited to three writers) is uninspired too. The inconsistencies on what Stephanie would know and not know after spending two decades in a coma repeatedly took me out of the story, and the character development was so superficial that I never developed a connection.
A story of an adolescent trapped in an adult’s body should always be funny, but “Senior Year” flounders and fizzles with nary a chuckle. I suppose it’s a fine choice for teens who may have it on in the background at a slumber party, but this movie fails to earn a passing grade.