With so many films coming out in theatres and streaming, it’s hard to get to everything when it’s released. So here’s our final of three catch-up posts on some of the Netflix Original comedy films released this year. These are rapid-fire reviews of The After Party, Sierra Burgess is a Loser and Nappily Ever After.
THE AFTER PARTY
Synopsis: When an aspiring rapper goes viral for all the wrong reasons, he thinks his career is over. But when his best friend gets them into a wild NYC after party, he gets one more chance to make the impossible happen. (Netflix)
Starring: Harrison Holzer, Kyle Harvey and Shelley Hennig
Writer: Ian Edelman
Director: Ian Edelman
Running Time: 120 mins
The After Party is a mediocre musical dramedy that finds itself unable to find its rhythm. While some of the performances are enjoyable and the soundtrack is great, the offbeat pacing, editing and lacklustre story paired with an insufferable sidekick makes for one party worth skipping. It had the potential to be a decent and layered look at the cutthroat music industry, but fails to be anything more than the equivalent of a teen’s unrealistic expectation of it. Don’t expect much other than musician cameos.
SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER
Synopsis: A case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes. (Netflix)
Starring: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth and RJ Cyler
Writer: Lindsey Beer
Director: Ian Samuels
Running Time: 105 mins
Sierra Burgess is a Loser is an homage-filled teen rom-com that shows imitation is not always the greatest form of flattery. While the performances are good and the film is well shot, the lazily written script causes the film to be boring, cliched and give the wrong message that catfishing your crush is the way to a relationship. It oozes the influence of 80s classics, including casting two iconic 80s actors as the protagonist’s parents, but it shakily stumbles through its story trying to emulate it.
NAPPILY EVER AFTER
Synopsis: A soulful barber helps a woman piece her life back together after an accident at her hair salon makes her realize she is not living life to the fullest. (Netflix)
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle and Lyriq Bent
Writers: Adam Brooks and Cee Marcellus
Director: Haifaa Al-Monsour
Running Time: 98 mins
Nappily Ever After is a simple coming-of-age story disguised as a romantic comedy that tries to say something about beauty standards. While the story is full of cliches and it fails to dive into its themes, the feel-good message of the film is not completely lost thanks to a strong central performance that carries it past the finish line. It could have been so much more, but unfortunately they just couldn’t find their tone.
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