We’ve seen a fair share of high school movies through the decades especially coming-of-age specifically. With examples like Juno to Sixteen Candles to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Luckily I’m glad I didn’t get into all this drama when I was 17. If anybody in high school right now, The Edge of Seventeen is the perfect film to gain attention now.
Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is a smart junior and it seems like life is dragging her down. She’s distant from her family after a tragedy, she’s not popular, and she doesn’t really tolerate anyone. With the fact that her best friend is dating her older brother, how could you not be hating life right now?
This is Kelly Fremon Craig’s directorial debut and she most definitely puts in the effort in directing and writing a well-realized dramedy. The last movie she wrote was Post Grad with Alexis Bledel. Anyone saw that? Feels like this was taken from experience if this actually happened to her, which is well-realized in this. As we’re watching this, you understand why Nadine is the way she is. Will she be redeemable in the end? Possibly. What made this feel real is this smart script has these characters actually talk like normal people would have conversations about. It didn’t feel fake or Hollywood-ized.
Ever since Oscar-nominated turn in True Grit, it was gonna be a sign that Hailee Steinfeld would become a rising star. Shes hate this generation as if she’s more efficient than others. Sometimes you want her to make the right choices right in front of her. Between the relationships with her friend and her mother, it’s difficult figuring out how to make sense out of everything. This is the second best performance I’ve seen from her yet.
Woody Harrelson as her English teacher, who has to put up with Nadine’s problems, provided some of the funniest moments between him and Nadine. Speaking of which, it has a good balance of humor and drama that’s clever for what it was going for.
The Edge of Seventeen felt like something John Hughes would’ve written if he was still alive today because it feels like his style of a relatable character in daily situations that teens at that will get. This is connected to anybody who’s growing up as a teenager and someone who remembers being at that age just inspiring in awe. But the character of Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto) is pretty much me. I mean, I would date Nadine if I could. What a surprise this was as a whole. Perhaps this could be a classic beyond our hands in the future.
The Edge of Seventeen is one of the most relatable coming-of-age films in recent years with its script and Steinfeld’s driving performance.