“High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother.”
My expectations for this film were not the highest because the trailer gave me this feeling that it would be just another teen story with a poor representation of what being a teenager is like with a lousy or negative message. A teenage priveledged girl who thinks the world is against her didn’t make me enthusiastic about watching this. The only aspect that excited me was the inclusion of Academy Award Nominee Haile Steinfeld and Academy Award Nominee Woody Harrelson. I love being surprised and Edge Of Seventeen diminished my concerns. Let’s get started!
I wasn’t completely invested with the story, but I really loved how some segments were relatable. It was intriguing to see this narrative focus on a certain point in a life where I feel like most of us are trying to figure out who we want to be and what we are going to do in our lives. A lot of that decision making and pressure can be extremely impactful on us emotionally and I thought this was a decent representation of that. This story is important because it presents that specific journey in life when we learn to accept that not everything comes our way and we have to choose to move on in a productive manner physically and mentally.
That’s exactly what growing up is all about and that’s why I was able to connect with this. Edge Of Seventeen had a hook, conflict, layered characters with wants/needs, and a tone that fit the story. The events and choices in this story all felt real. Everything that happens to the main character means so much to to her which I felt was a great reflection of how, in the mentality of a teenager, it’s the end of the world when something happens in their pivotal moments, I know I’ve been there most of the time through school.
Steinfeld was the standout for me because she did a fantastic job of playing this awkward character who kept acting mentally tough, but was vulnerable. She had some wonderful moments in the film that required her to be poignant and also had to nail the comedy. The film rests on her shoulders and she was able to carry it throughout with a character that she naturally embodied.
Woody Harrelson is an actor I’ll watch in any film. Whatever role he has to take on, Harrelson always gives it 110%. I loved his performance in this movie because he played a teacher that had an untraditional relationship with his student. He wasn’t the greatest role model and it seemed like he wasn’t the most sentimental person either, but somehow the main character was able to connect with him which I totally believed. He perfectly displayed a person who didn’t give the most emotional support, but was still there for her in a bittersweet way.
Blake Jenner was from Glee and he has improved tremendously as a performer. He plays one of the most important characters in the entire film because he’s the catalyst for a change in someone else. His character wasn’t just one note, the stereotypical perfect guy who has everything, there was several layers to him that get revealed later in the film which help increase the awareness of what this story is trying to say.
I loved the themes the most in this film. One of my favorite lines is “Life isn’t fair sometimes, Nadine, okay? You gotta get over it.” That really resonated with me because once in awhile I’ll have those similar break downs where I think to myself, why do things have to be so difficult? As a result, I waste my time overthinking and overdramatizing those situations about how to deal with them rather than actually dealing with them.
This film also touches on taking risks, because that’s what life is all about, a person shouldn’t be afraid of putting themselves out there otherwise they’ll only be holding themselves back. It’s completely fine to make mistakes in life, mistakes are great because they are part of this learning process as we grow as people. It’s also important not to always make everything about ourselves because it blinds us from the damage that could be happening to others around us. Even self loathing could cause pain to others without the realization, it just takes mistakes, reflection, and maturity to understand that.
My only minor problem I had was one of the performances which came from Hayden Szeto. I understood the direction of making his character behave a certain way, but I thought he was extremely overacting. It doesn’t hurt the story overall, but he would take me out of the film whenever he was on screen.
I definitely recommend this movie for a matinee showing. It’s not something I would call amazing, but I did appreciate a lot of things I noticed within it that I felt transcended the coming of age teenage story. The situations felt honest, music choices were perfect, theme was enlightening, comedy was well done, the main performances were strong, and the story was passionate enough to follow. Thank you so much for reading my review and I hope you love it. My rating for Edge Of Seventeen is 8/10!