Is Senior Year OK for Kids? - Movie Review and Parent's Guide

Senior Year. (Featured L-R) Jeremy Ray Taylor as Neil Chud, Rebel Wilson as Stephanie Conway, Avantika as Janet and Joshua Colley as Yaz in Senior Year. Cr. Boris Martin/Netflix © 2022

Netflix's new movie, Senior Year, is the walk down memory lane we didn't know we needed.  While the story feels a little "been there, done that" thanks to Never Been Kissed, Rebel Wilson delivers some genuinely funny moments as a 37 year old woman who returns to high school after spending the past 20 years in a coma.  While the story focuses on a number of teenage issues, is this movie OK for kids?  

Senior Year Movie Review

Senior Year. (Featured) Angourie Rice as young Stephanie Conway in Senior Year. Cr. Boris Martin/Netflix © 2022

"Who you are in high school doesn't define you." 

In Senior Year, we first meet Stephanie as a high school student struggling to find her way in high school.  She is determined to become popular - be the cheer captain, date the football player, and win prom queen.  By her senior year in 2002, she is living her "perfect" high school life, but a tragic accident just weeks before graduation leaves Stephanie in a coma for the next 20 years.  When she wakes up in 2022, Stephanie has her heart set on going back and finishing her senior year the way she intended.  

With stars like Rebel Wilson and Chris Parnell, it's no surprise that there are several laugh out loud moments in this movie. . .even if some of them are a bit over the top.  The soundtrack is a wonderful throwback mix to the late 90s / early 2000s.  In fact, there is a pretty amazing music video 2.0 of Britney Spears' "Crazy"!  And I loved the cameo by Alicia Silverstone - could there be anyone more iconic in a movie throwing back to my generation?

Is Senior Year OK for Kids?

Senior Year. (L to R) Zoe Chao as Tiffany and Justin Hartley as Blaine in Senior Year. Cr. Boris Martin/Netflix © 2022

Senior Year gets a lot of things right, including some takeaway moments about real friendship and what makes a "perfect" life.  It also has Justin Hartley, which is an immediate win in my book, but in the end I felt like the movie struggled to figure out if it was an SNL skit or a heartwarming film.  I never understand why movies have to drop f-bombs all over the place, but there are several instances of language in the film which I think really distract from the movie.

The language in Senior Year may be one of the reasons for the R rating that it received, but it also depicts teen drinking, bullying, and gender identity.  While these issues in and of themselves wouldn't stop me from watching a movie with my kids, I feel like the comedic vibe of the film almost pokes fun at some of these things rather than giving them the depth they deserve.

If I had a teenager, I probably wouldn't have reservations about watching the film together, but it's definitely too mature in content for my younger viewers.  

Senior Year is now streaming on Netflix.

About Senior Year (From Netflix)

Stephanie Conway is the most popular girl at Harding High. She is captain of the cheerleading squad, she is dating the quarterback and she is well on her way to becoming the prom queen. Girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. She has it all — until a disastrous cheerleading stunt lands her in a coma. Fast forward

20 years later and Steph finally wakes from her coma as a 37-year-old woman. She goes back to her high school and tries to assume her role as the star of the school. Most of all, she is still set on winning the crown as prom queen.

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