In Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and Celeste Ballard’s teen dark comedy ode to the likes of ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s gems like Heathers and Jawbreaker, Sophie Turner plays Erica Norman, one of the more formidable teens attending the same fancy tennis camp as the protagonists. Riverdale’s Camila Mendes and Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke play Drea Torres and Eleanor Levetan, high school seniors out for revenge against fellow students who wrong them.
Turner only appears in the film for a short amount of time, just five minutes in total once at the very beginning, and once near the end — but she damn well steals the show. Her character, Erica, interacts with the protagonists separately at tennis camp, first bragging to her friend Jessica about having been sent Drea’s private video by an unnamed source (without Drea’s consent) and then lambasting an eavesdropping Eleanor for her “weird energy.” Eleanor tries to break the ice with Drea by telling her Erica showed everyone her video. Though Drea rudely throws it in Eleanor’s face, she uses the information to her advantage, planting a little cocaine in Erica’s locker and getting her kicked out of tennis camp in a truly spectacular exit.
It is here, set to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ “The Impression That I Get,” that Turner upstages the entire movie just 13 minutes in. Roaring in booming, gravelly protest about the fact that she doesn’t do “COH-CAAAAAAIIIIHNE” and spitting insults at a serene Mendes, Turner delivers the exquisite epitome of throwing an almost-adult tantrum in public. “You fra…she FRAAAAAAMED MEEEEEAAAYYY!” she screams to no one in particular, arms open, expecting a nonexistent jury to jump out of the bushes and clear her name, while her sycophantic bestie Jessica simply sobs. “I don’t know what it LOOOOOKS. LIIIIIIIIKE!!!” Turner mock screams in Mendes’ face, before being dragged away by security, screeching for Jessica to DO SOMETHING.
But then, she’s back! Amid the film’s chaotically unpredictable twists and turns, Drea seeks an audience with Eleanor’s nemesis, Carissa (Ava Capri), at the Heavenly Palms Rehabilitation Centre and Spa — we won’t spoil why. Here, Drea gets a “fun surprise” running into Erica. We find out Erica was not only kicked out of tennis camp thanks to Drea’s stunt, but lost her Stanford scholarship “and developed an actual coke problem.” Erica explains one of the steps in her recovery is to make amends. Turner and Mendes pace this interaction so perfectly, you might believe they actually might become friends. You would be wrong.
Holding Mendes’ face with both hands in glowing admiration, then venomous disdain, Turner utters, “From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing…but the worst…for the rest of your miserable fucking existence. “And,” she whispers with all the readied threat of a thousand reared cobras, stroking Drea’s fluffy, spherical earrings with welled-up, unblinking eyes, “I love your ear balls. I love them.”
After a perfect crisis management “thank you” from Mendes, Turner firmly holds her hand on Mendes’ face as she slowly turns to speak to an interrupting nurse. I can’t with this. As Drea patronises Erica one last time and walks away, Erica raises her phone from somewhere, begins filming and whispers, “Sleep with one eye open, bitch,” before being swiftly summoned back to craft time (read: painting a portrait of Drea in flames with a snake tongue) and roaring in Cate Blanchett levels of formidable projection at whoever dared to do so.