It is always a delight to get to see Lana Condor on screen, especially when she gets to lean into her inner Regina George, but Boo, Bitch just isn’t it. It has its high points, particularly with Condor’s acting and her chemistry with Zoe Margaret Colletti, who plays her best friend Gia, but it is ironically consistently uneven to the point that it’s hard to tell if we’re watching something that is ultimately heartfelt or more in line with Heathers.
Condor plays the shy Erika Vu, who has spent the last three years of high school essentially being known as someone else. After accidentally slighting school mean girl Riley (Aparna Brielle) during Freshman year picture day, she’s been the victim of Riley’s relentless bullying. To the people who don’t know her at school, she’s Helen Who (a name that screams microaggression), not Erika Vu. Good thing is, she’s got her best friend Gia, who not only knows who she is but loves her for who she is.
After a wild night out at a party (something the girls have never gone to during their high school careers), the two get drunk, Erika finally gets to talk and connect with her crush Jake C. (Mason Versaw), and their hope in their senior year is rejuvenated. That is until they end up in an accident where Erika is killed and becomes a ghost. Surprisingly, she is the type of ghost who can still talk to people, still touch things, and still basically exist as a full human being. After some sleuthing and questioning their school’s group of witchy people, they learn that a ghost can only move on after death if they fulfill their unfinished business.
What follows is attempts to get Erika to kiss Jake C., which they assume is her unfinished business. But then they kiss, and she is still there? So perhaps she’s gotta have sex with him? With prom coming up, this is the perfect opportunity. What is confusing and somewhat problematic about Boo, Bitch is that it implies that Erika actually isn’t really a good person. That, given the chance and given the opportunity to be popular and cool, she neglects her best friend, becomes her enemy, and even acts like a monster to her long-time crush. And, no, spoiler alert, it isn’t for any supernatural reason, it’s just Erika.
Condor delivers hilarious lines full of sass and snark, but unfortunately, the dialogue is painful. I don’t know if it’s meant to be a satire of kids today, but all the kids seem to speak using ridiculous acronyms as if anyone speaks like this. It reeks of being out of touch with the actual young people of today. But, if that wasn’t bad enough, the plot twist can be spotted a mile away. When the reveal of what truly happened the night Erika died is fully out, it’s not exactly a shocking moment. And the ending catharsis isn’t really that. There is still the grief and suffering that comes after all of this.
With off-kilter humor, contrived plots, and a twist you see a mile away, not even Lana Condor can hold this thing up. If you want some sort of supernatural or darkly comedic high school story, you’re better off watching a double feature of Carrie and Heathers. There’s not much new here.