SYNOPSIS: In the vein of classic coming-of-age films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, The Edge of Seventeen is a poignant and hilarious look at what it's like to be a teenager today. Growing up is hard, and life is no easier for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld, Pitch Perfect 2), who is already at peak awkwardness when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson, Ravenswood) begins dating her all-star brother Darian (Blake Jenner, Glee). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever. With the help of her reluctant sounding-board (Woody Harrelson, True Detective), she soon discovers that what feels like the end of the world may just be the beginning of growing up.
In 2016, STX and Huayi Bros scored a hit with a little movie about moms going wild. On a meagre budget, Bad Moms made like seven times at the box-office. Probably hoping to repeat this miracle, both parties released a coming-of-age drama later in the year though it hardly makes any waves anywhere.
To be fair, The Edge of Seventeen is not a bad movie after all. It has an amazing cast especially lead actress Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Pitch Perfect 2) and most importantly a sharp script by first-time director Kelly Fremon Craig. What it lacks is a likeable central character and the story moves along more like a monologue. Amusing for the first 45 minutes or so but simply gets too draggy past that.
Steinfeld plays 17-year-old Nadine who proclaims she is much older than the average teenager in terms of thinking. She has only one friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) since junior school while her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) has everything Nadine lacks- lots of friends, a fantastic bod, popularity and the apple of his mother’s eye (Kyra Sedgewick). When Nadine finds out that her only friend in the world has become an item with Darian, all hell breaks loose as Nadine unable to control her emotions turned into a complete shithead and did the unthinkable act of hooking up with her questionable long-time crush.
The movie has all the basic ingredients of telling an angst teenage story from a girl’s point of view. There’s the school crush, overprotective parents, siblings rivalry and misunderstanding between best friends. Topics that never stray far away from a coming-of-age picture are captured gloriously right here. It’s this generation Mean Girls and Easy A with of course social media thrown in for good measures. It’s a movie for anyone who has been through the awkward stage of being 17.
The young Hailee Steinfeld should be applaud for playing the lonely, awkward over-mature Nadine. Flawless and always believable, Steinfeld is perfect in nailing a self-centered character that seriously deserves no sympathy at all in real-life. This is a movie that succeeds purely because of her and I doubt it’s a role Lindsay Lohan in her heydays will be able to carry through. Not forgetting the ever-reliable Woody Harrelson playing Nadine’s form teacher who also humorously and unwillingly act as her confidante and counselor.
To round things up, if you could get past the fact that Nadine is actually a detestable character that whines at every opportunity and talks more than she listens then The Edge of Seventeen is one teen comedy for you.
There’s only 5 minutes of Gag Reel and 4 minutes of Deleted Scenes.
Colours and details are generally fine and the Dolby Digital 5.1 serves its purposes for this talky title.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee