The Edge of Seventeen plops us down into the life of Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) – a quirky misfit trying to find her way through her last years of high school. Things turn upside down for her when her only friend starts dating her golden child brother. She finds herself cut off from her only friend and takes matters into her own hands to shake up her life.
If you find yourself hating the typical coming-of- age high school dramedy, then you probably won’t find much comfort with The Edge of Seventeen. It features plenty of clichés that we’ve all come to know from the genre. You have your romance subplots, the struggle to fit in, some awkward teenage quirkiness. Some of the “drama” in the film also feels a little manufactured. And of course, it also features people far too cute to be the “ugly outcast” and far too funny to have no friends as well as some characters that look way too old to be in high school. But hey – this is Hollywood after all. And at least they make an effort to at least make it somewhat believable.
That being said, The Edge of Seventeen could not have been any more witty or adorable. This movie raises the bar when it comes to the genre. The witty banter, the awkward situations – everything just comes together into a beautiful ensemble. One of the absolute best parts of this movie was the phenomenal characterization. The dialogue kept me laughing myself into stitches and the way they handle a lot of the situations just felt so real. When Nadine gets in a fight with her mom, I could just feel the racing thoughts and angry terror going through her head as she’s walking away thinking “oh shit, am I really doing this!?” And when Nadine gets coached by her teacher or finds herself making awkward conversation with her classmate, I truly felt myself in those situations. Needless to say, this movie makes it really easy to relate to and really jump in and feel the characters. The cast was great and the way they portrayed most of their characters was exceptional. You felt these were real people with all their faults and positive traits. The Edge of Seventeen truly made you connect to these characters.
All of the clichés aside, however, where this movie really shines is its humor. I do not remember laughing this hard in a long time. Although I will not dare say that The Edge of Seventeen belongs on the same shelf as Mean Girls, I will say that it holds its own. It doesn’t shine because of outlandish portrayals of everyday situations; instead it shines because it is so real and it pokes fun at situations we’ve all experienced. To say this movie is witty is an understatement. The banter between Nadine’s teacher (Woody Harrelson) in particular just killed me. I really have to hand it to Hailee Steinfeld for making it so easy to love such a traditionally unlikable character.
The Edge of Seventeen is a must see comedy. It will make you laugh and cry… tears of intense laughter. And you’ll come out all the better for it.
4.5 out of 5
What would I have changed? (Spoilers)
I think this movie would have benefitted more from expanding on the brother’s character. We get that he is the all-around popular superstar. But they didn’t really spend any time really showing us who he is. So some of his later scenes just seem out of place. Also, I think the feud between besties could have been better resolved. The fight was the catalyst to Nadine finding herself, and I think the movie would have benefitted from just one more short scene where we see the two truly reconnect.
|Johnny (Contributor) was born and raised in San Diego. He's been a fan of films the majority of his life. He enjoys the feeling it invokes and the power it has to take you go another place.|