Senior Year, Netflix's latest film, seeks to pay homage to the genre-defining 2000s high school rom-coms.

Unfortunately, this homage falls short of its predecessors, and the film, like its protagonist Stephanie Conway, becomes lost in her attempt to balance the present and the past.

Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice), a fish out of water, is a heroine we wish we could sympathise with. Stephanie quickly rises to the top of the high school social order after relocating to America from Australia, aided by trusted magazine articles and a pin-board to visualise her aspirations.

Everything comes crashing down when she is rendered comatose during her cheerleading performance... just before prom.

After 20 years, a 37-year-old Stephanie (now played by Rebel Wilson) mysteriously awakens from her coma to discover that, despite her physical age, "mentally she's still 17." She then embarks on a journey to return to high school, graduate, and be crowned prom queen. 

The clock has been reset, and Stephanie is no longer Queen B as a middle-aged lady. As she navigates the new era of social media-fueled celebrity, she gets a second makeover.

Her father (Chris Parnell) and childhood pals Martha (Mary Holland) and Seth (Sam Richardson), who now work at the school, assist her throughout this process.

Senior Year begins as a strange time capsule that we have come into 20 years later, with colourful visual aesthetics and a soundtrack featuring Avril Lavigne, Mandy Moore, and Fort Minor. It even encourages the suspension of disbelief for a brief moment.

Senior Year has all the trappings of a nostalgic comfort film, with language that seems to have been pulled straight from a motivational Instagram page, and overtly stated lessons on celebrity being transient, letting go of one's past to uncover one's true self... you get the idea.

Any attempt at a sweet piece of media, however, is hampered by a plot that is more perplexing than its protagonist.