The School for Good and Evil: Happily Never After 

A critical look into Netflix’s new coming-of-age film and why it doesn’t deserve today’s praise

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Callie Watson, Staff Writer

We all love and remember the Harry Potter series right? Now what if I told you that you could watch a whole new Harry Potter movie! Only this time the fascinating wizards are recast with irritating fairies, princesses, and a whole mess of typical, angsty, YA teenagers! Sounds appealing right? I mean who doesn’t want to see another take on the classic good versus evil motif? Right? Wrong.

Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil, with its tired cliches and corny dialogue, falls short of every expectation fourth-grade me had after reading the book. The film, adapted from the book series by Soman Chainani, tells the story of two unlikely friends: Sophie, played by Sophia Anne Crusero, and Agatha—Sofia Wilde—who are placed in opposing schools that train students to protect the balance between good and evil. While dark and witchy Agatha is placed in the School for Good, Sophie, who compares herself to Cinderella, is mysteriously placed in the School for Evil—a poor and exhausted attempt to subvert stereotypes.

Main characters, Sophie (right) and Agatha (left)

It’s clear that Netflix set this movie up to be their next big franchise—but with this movie’s 148 minute run time, it never does find the time to actually tell a compelling story. With its never-ending exposition and simplistic narrative, this movie teeters on the fence between mind-numbingly boring and laugh-out-loud stupid. Sophie attempts to prove herself as being “good,” but after two long hours of exposition, she eventually is seduced by the evil around her.

As a symbol of her evilness, she cuts her blond hair off. Wow, how very “rapunzel-esque.” If the writers really wanted to showcase their lack of originality, they should have just given Sophie a main-character montage sequence where she reveals her “jaw-dropping” transformation to the entire school. Oh wait—they did! With Billie Eilish’s “You Should See Me In A Crown” playing, Sophia Anne Crusero struts in front of the entire school in her all new black wardrobe. It was at this point in the movie that I had to pause to breathe because I was doubled over laughing. It honestly makes me wonder if anyone previewed and edited this film before it was released to the public.

After two and a half hours of cringe, laughter, and Agatha being completely screwed over by Sophie, the film pulls the “power of friendship is the strongest power of all” card and ends. Good riddance. ”

All told, I think my favorite part of the movie was when Agatha actually acknowledges the narrator’s voice, and Sophie wittily remarks with “the protagonists are speaking.” It’s all just so embarrassingly meta. Without this movie’s rather impressive CGI, I would have to name this movie irredeemable. After two and a half hours of cringe laughter, and Agatha being completely screwed over by Sophie, the film pulls the “power of friendship is the strongest power of all” card and ends. Good riddance.