The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Hailee SteinfeldHaley Lu RichardsonBlake JennerKyra SedgwickWoody HarrelsonHayden SzetoAlexander Calvert
Seen on: 25.4.2017

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) feels that she doesn’t fit in with the world around her. Certainly not her brother Darian (Blake Jenner) who is simply perfect. The only person who understands Nadine and who shares everything with her is her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). So it really throws Nadine for a loop when Krista starts dating Darian of all people. Nadine decides she has to look for new friends. But candidates are not easy to find. There’s her grumpy teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson), and the slightly dorky Erwin (Hayden Szeto) who’s probably into Nadine. And there is the dreamy Nick (Alexander Calvert) who is everything Nadine dreams about.

The Edge of Seventeen is funny and sweet and cute, but it didn’t get all the points in my book it could have gotten with just a few minor adjustments.

I really liked Nadine, even in her unlikeable and unreasonable moments. A lot of that has to do with Hailee Steinfeld who is really excellent in the role and manages to always center the true pain and insecurity Nadine is feeling, especially when she’s lashing out.

My favorite part about the film was definitely Nadine’s relationship with Darian and how the two are allowed to grow. Nadine more so than Darian, but they both needed the kick that Krista gave them by simply liking them both. It was a wonderfully drawn relationship and the film ends openly enough to set them on a good path without rushing to solutions.

And of course the hilariously grumpy Bruner.

Now the things I didn’t love though: the film was a little too predictable for its own good, though it was still able to make the emotions work, so that wasn’t too big of a fault. More grievously, I didn’t love that short film Erwin made that was just one entirely sexist joke. Unfortunately that cost him almost all of the brownie points he had gathered until then – and there were quite a few of them. And I also didn’t love that once Krista’s out with Nadine, everything in her life revolves around guys – Darian, Bruner, Erwin, Nick, her dad. Her mom gets a bit of time, but not a whole lot. It could have at least been Ms Bruner.

Be that as it may, I enjoyed the film. It was fun, it was emotional and it gave us a heroine who is allowed to grow and yet remain imperfect which is a rarity. So there’s a lot to like, just not everything.

Summarizing: Worth seeing.

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