Edge of Seventeen review
If there is something that a teenager values more then friends is their boyfriend/girlfriend. The feelings of love and passion are amplified for the juvenile as their sudden change in body chemistry gives them the naive but exciting notion that they are grown up and feel like that their responsibly to juggle a relationship along with their daily high school life. Let’s not forget that before the rise of the suburban family, it was actually fairly common for teenagers to have already chosen their partner and maybe even already start a family. Though when boy meets girl, what happens to the friends they’ve had to slightly leave behind?
When someone is told by their friend that their going to be spending a lot more time with their loved one, they unfortunately mean it. That’s how you identify that a relationship is going good. For those that were popular and a lot of friends, they we’re probably not that disappointed by this. But for those that are more quiet and stick to a few friends, this can feel like a major loss, like seeing someone else taking away something that you thought was yours. The Edge of Seventeen deals with one girl losing her friend to a relationship.
Seventeen-year-old Nadine Byrd (played by Hailee Steinfeld) is an unpopular angst girl who claims to be an old soul and has major distaste for the image of the modern teenager. With her only family supporter, her father, already gone from heart disease, her only solitude comes from her lifelong friend Krista (played by Haley Lu Richardson). They enjoy sitting away from the lunch tables and often spend most free time doing nothing. Things are thrown out of proportion when Krista ends up sleeping with Nadine’s older brother Darian (played by Blake Jenner).
When Nadine makes Krista chose between them, she chooses her new boy friend over her best friend. Now on her own, Nadine puts her focus on being the object of the boy she likes, Nick. Meanwhile her relationship with her mother Mona (played by Kyra Sedgwick) and Darian become further strained when she begins to act more selfish and only finds one of her teachers Mr. Bruner (played by Woody Harrelson) to even communicate with. Things do take a change when she seems to be getting attention from fellow student/animator Erwin. Though she seems to like his company, she still wants to be with Nick.
You might be seeing this and thinking, “another story about teenage angst?”. On the one hand, when you think of Ghost World, Juno, and the TV series Daria, you’d think this was cliché. Though it may seem so, Nadine is an interesting character to follow, as she seems like a real teenager. I’m glad to see another teen movie that embraces it’s R rating and allows their adolescents to not only communicate in a way that feels like high school again, but to seem flawed enough to understand that they still have a lot to learn.
Hailee Steinfeld is showing off that she has a chance to make it as an adult actress. What’s fascinating is that even though her character is annoying and can be quite shellfish, she’s still interesting enough that you want to see what she’ll do. She seems like a character out of a John Hughes movie.
Speaking of John Hughes, The Edge of Seventeen took a cue from his work to craft an atmosphere that feels that it could be timeless (in this day of evolving phone and computers, is not easy). This happens to be an excellent film in general, even if it can run slow in a few moments.
I’ll give this four and a half regretful texts out of five. I highly recommend The Edge of Seventeen as something honest and maybe hard, but entertaining nonetheless.