The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)


You're only young once... is it over yet?

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Woody Harrelson star in this coming-of-age comedy-drama about an endearing but self-absorbed teen whose life goes into a tailspin after her older brother starts dating her best friend.... More

"Not many people pay attention to socially awkward high-school junior Nadine (Steinfeld), but it isn't for lack of effort on her part. The Edge of Seventeen begins with Nadine assailing her history teacher, Mr. Bruner (Harrelson), with her umpteenth breathless — and phony — crisis. Tired of Nadine's high drama, Mr. Bruner refuses to offer token consolation, though he does offer her half his cookie.

"Whatever adolescent disaster Nadine thinks she's suffering from, nothing can prepare her for what is tantamount to a personal apocalypse: Nadine's best friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), has started dating Nadine's annoyingly earnest fitness-nut older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Ugh! This unholy union sparks a new level of mania in Nadine, one that will push her to try new things — like sending brazen text messages to the cute, aloof boy who works at the pet store in the mall." (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide

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The Peoples' Reviews

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BY cinemusefilm superstar

Coming-of-age films appeal to most audiences but some never realise that it’s a genre full of gender stereotypes. Male coming-of-age films are about high-risk adventure, physical challenge, and enduring friendships, while the female versions are about popularity, mean girlfriends and emotional insecurity. Manhood is usually portrayed as dramatic achievement while womanhood is a melodrama of anxiety and victimhood: are these the only options? Such clichés are alive and well in The Edge of... More Seventeen (2016).

The plotline follows the narrative shape of most coming-of-age films. At 17, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is a gawky, angst-filled over-thinker who hits the edge of teenage sanity when she finds herself in an emotional vortex. Her father died a while ago; her mother is a bit loony; she worries about her looks; and the mean girls are giving her hell. Life sucks, and then the cruncher: her lifelong best (and only) friend Krista starts dating her infuriatingly perfect older brother. Betrayed beyond belief, Nadine busts up with Krista and ends up chronically lonely. When her secret crush turns sour, she gravitates to a sweet nerdy guy who has been watching her from afar. Throughout all of this is her sardonic teacher, Mr Bruner, who tells her that she’ll have to join the queue if she wants to talk about suicide during his lunch hour.

While the plotline is one big cliché, the casting and acting are simply outstanding. The spotlight is totally on Nadine and she shines in every scene. She is the quintessential uncool teenage girl: gorgeous without knowing it; street smart about everything and nothing; juggling a dozen emotional balls at once; but still a sweet kid who needs a hand to survive the usual mistakes that must be made on the way to growing up. She is needy, defiant, and funny all at once, while Krista and Mr Bruner bring out the best and worst in her.

Does this film raise the standard of stereotypes in the female coming-of-age story? No, not at all, and melodrama seems to be an inescapable part of the deal. But it tells the story in a refreshing way with an intelligent script delivered mostly through Nadine’s quirky personality, aided by a top support cast. With a natural filming style and a great soundtrack, this story is told with realism, charm and hope.Hide

BY JackWallace superstar

There's nothing particularly new about The Edge of Seventeen, and it's hard to sympathize with such an unlikeable protagonist, but I did enjoy this movie. I like the supporting characters more than Hailee Steinfeld's Nadine. Woody Harrelson is great as always. It's a good coming of age teen movie. Grade: B-

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The Press Reviews

  • A very strong debut by writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig deals with all the usual teenage concerns — dating, family, school — in a way that tries to go beyond genre cliché... Full Review

  • As a memorable teen character, she’s almost up there with Cher from ‘Clueless’ or Ellen Page’s Juno. Watch and wince. Full Review

  • It’s a teen movie that starts off funny ha-ha but turns into something more like a light-fingered psychological thriller. Full Review

  • Fast, full-hearted and graced with a beautifully modulated lead turn by Hailee Steinfeld, the movie takes the risk of playing it straight and sincere — and the risk pays off. Full Review

  • Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig brings a spiky wit and a warm-hearted, nerd-friendly finale to a comedy that wants for nothing but a little substance. Full Review

  • Steinfeld smartly weighs the comedy of Nadine's hormonal disquiet against her potentially tragic need for affirmation, never more adroitly than in a shaded set piece involving an accidental sext. Full Review

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