In their attempts to fill the John Hughes-shaped hole in the movie marketplace, Netflix might just have found this generation’s answer to Molly Wringwald, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Anthony Michael Hall (known collectively as the Brat Pack).
This summer, the streaming giants have established themselves as the leading purveyor of teen romcoms, thanks to a series of low-budget, high rating flicks.
The latest of these, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, features two Netflix teen icons: Shannon Purser AKA “Barb from Stranger Things”, and Noah Centineo, whose Mark Ruffalo-alike good looks had fans salivating with his starring role in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Like its predecessors, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth, Sierra Burgess updates the classic teen movie formula developed by writer and director John Hughes for the streaming century.
Purser stars as Sierra, the titular ‘loser’ heroine who ends up catfishing a kind-hearted jock (Jamey, played by Centineo) after her friend gives him her number.
While The Kissing Booth saw original Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald passing the torch to young lead Joey King, and To All The Boys saw the couple at the heart of the film settling in to watch Sixteen Candles, Sierra Burgess has its own hat-tip to the Brat Pack era in the casting of Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s best friend Cameron) as Sierra’s father.
The old guard, it would seem, are quite ready to watch this new generation of stars carry their legacy into the modern era.
Find out more about the leaders of Netflix’s teen romcom revival below.
If you know, you know. Setting aside queasy feelings about the internet collectively thirsting after an on-screen high schooler (Centineo is 22 in reality), there is little arguing the star power on show in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. The stats of his glo-up tell you all you need to know: his Instagram account picked up around seven million (!) followers in the weeks since the film’s release, taking him up to 8.4m at the time of writing.
While most Stranger Things fans will likely never forgive Netflix for how Barb was treated in the series, her performance as the romantic lead in Sierra Burgess is a Loser should go some way to easing the pain. Purser is bright and relatable as the titular Sierra, and the character has won plaudits even before the film’s release as a rare plus-sized romcom hero.
sierra burgess is a loser is going to change so many things for plus size girls. this movie made me feel so good about myself. holy shit i loved it!!!
— carlee ???? (@hoodienergy) September 7, 2018
The Kissing Booth, which stars up-and-comer Joey King, looks to have been covertly one of Netflix’s biggest hits of the summer. While Netflix has remained staunch in their refusal to share ratings, the service did confirm that of all the people who watched the movie based on the YA novel, over 30 per cent have watched it more than once.
King’s Aussie co-star (and real-life boyfriend) was social media’s big obsession before Centineo came around. Could this be Hollywood’s next great Power Couple? King has 7.2 million Instagram followers, while Elordi has 6.2m.
All the love for Centineo drowned out the much-deserved praise for its true lead, Lana Condor, who played the incredibly charming Laura-Jean Covey, an awkward high schooler whose private love letters are released to each one of her current and past crushes. Condor has been carving out a niche as a low-key action hero in X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, but Netflix’s Internet stardom is proving all the more irresistible to resist…
Froseth does an effective Regina George impression in Sierra Burgess is a Loser, leaving us wondering what she might do with a slightly meatier role. Luckily, she’s set to star in Netflix’s upcoming drama Apostle, about a man who attempts to rescue his sister after she is kidnapped by a cult, so we’ll hopefully get a better insight into her dramatic chops.