The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson
Ratings and Thoughts: Rotten Tomatoes (95%- A bit high, but I understand why other critics would approve of this film.) 7.9/10 and 85% enjoyed the movie. (Agree all around.)
IMDb: 7.9 of 700+ ratings (That is just about perfect scoring)
Plot: Life and high school gets a lot more hectic when Nadine’s best friend Krista begins dating her older brother.
I know I talk a lot positives about movies I see. I rarely view one I hate. (In the words of Jay Sherman, “If the movie sucks, just don’t go.”) However, I do try to branch out and see films that are out of my comfort zone. To see the world with a new perspective. This was one of those times and fortunately I would be pleasantly surprised.
What I Didn’t Like:
There are things that happen in independent films and even ones more in the mainstream. You see these events coming a mile away, but you can’t stop them. This is one of those movies where there is a lot of refreshing material. However, there are some cliches which I would have preferred to see altered. Give it a twist, or go in a different direction from others. There is a few predictable and tired moments.
There was a bit of fantasy in this. Certain aspects were a bit silly. You need to suspend some disbelief to allow certain characters and plot points to stick. All of it certainly possible, but less likely than it is assumed in the film.
What I Did Like:
Hailee Steinfeld was amazing as the lead role of Nadine. She really nailed the role as this awkward teenage girl. She is awkward, but nothing overtly wrong with her. She is clever and passionate. Also she is flawed and that happens to be presented in various ways throughout the film.
I think that is what I love about this film, no character is evil (though some come close). There are good people who are flawed. They have their personal demons that they have to face. I felt the film showcased that. Even when things seem to be perfect for some people, the reality is they may be fighting a lot more than you may realize. So perhaps treat people with some kindness and try to be supportive where you can be.
Shout out to this films actors for doing good to great work. Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Hayden Szeto, Kyra Sedgwick
When you get a film filled with young actors, sometimes they are so unintentionally awkward it makes it painful to watch. These actors are young, but talented enough to show those awkward years purposely and very well.
The humor in this movie was great. It reminded me of my high school days. Some things like the language and technology have been changed or improved, but a lot the common issues and struggles remain. It wasn’t the now standard let’s try and gross everyone out type humor. (That is fine is small doses, but I’ve seen too much of it lately.) Ironically, this teen comedy-drama is the adult in the room of this year’s group of comedic films.
This is a coming of age film which features a long of young actors, but it dives into some adult themes. Like the best of this genre, it has depth mixed in with the humor.
Conclusion: With the extent of raunchy comedies this year, it is good to watch one that is clever, emotionally mature (within reason), and still quite funny. If you have been that awkward teenager, or even had trouble asking out a girl or boy. Then you will probably find aspects of this film to relate to. The Edge of Seventeen is well above average and I was stunned how much I enjoyed the film. I will be watching it again and I suggest if you have loved teenage comedy-dramas before, you should watch it, too.
The Ladder (Need to see this film again before I can lock it into a position, but this just an idea where it belongs. )
10 Things I hate About You (1999)
Mean Girls (2004)
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
The Duff (2015)
Adding the Red Band Trailer which may be NSFW for some of you. You’ve been warned!