The transformation of social media has been evidently evolving through the years, in terms of the abundant digitalization of even the tiniest form of interaction. Reflected in the 2022 comedy film, Senior Year, directed by Alex Hardcastle.
In the film set in the early 2000s, the young protagonist aspired to be everything stereotypically pretty during her senior year.
The “cheer captain-type” as I say. Journey to being the most popular girl on the campus have conflicts. Involving co-cheerleaders, which sabotaged her routine leading to a coma. Twenty years later, the protagonist, starred by Rebel Wilson, wants to return to Highschool to finish as the prom queen. Which led to multiple problems of the shift of trends into a more progressive pace.
The common theme in the movie is the element of the generational gap, in which, the condition within schools is more progressive, without individuality even. Multiple instances resulted in culture shock with the absence of common labels during her time.
The movie’s idea about the progress of this generation is that the push and pull between labels and their absence are prominently overlapping, requiring the youth be mature with their choices, while also being childish. Seen in the comparison of the past and present cheer squads. Whereas, the former does not allow individual routines and is less cheery overall.
Furthermore, the Senior Year’s take on social media can reflect reality. Which, the popularity contest, which has been only evident in high school, penetrated online platforms. Valuing popularity rather than character also provides an insight into today’s society, for the abundance of “cancelled” social media celebrities.
Satirical to Seniors
Contrary to the reviews given towards the film, Senior Year is overtly satirical in its elements. The character design, reminiscent of 2000s Chick-Flicks set in high school, the “nerdy” best friends that support the protagonist all the way, and the antagonist who wants to undermine the protagonist from being the prom queen. Its composition mostly leans on the 2000s films with a glimpse of the 2020s. Where the generations are either oversensitive or detached. Wilson’s performance carried the comedic elements of the film with her baby boomer antics and common media traits that supported the direction of the film towards its climax.
The movie, Senior Year is straightforwardly funny, with self-awareness and general energy throughout its awkwardness. This also provided a look towards this and the former generation’s overlap and interaction, in which the sense of progressiveness is boring, or is this what actual progression looks like? I think the film tried to give a commentary hidden inside all of the comedy and nostalgic factors, which can indicate that it constructed a compact film full of laughs and self-awareness.