The Edge of Seventeen, directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, might just be my new favorite movie. The movie is just under two hours, and it certainly left me wanting more. The film is meant to be a comedy, but has definitely stolen a lot from the drama genre.
The Edge of Seventeen takes you back to the nostalgic days of high school. While some of us have fond memories of high school, Hailee Seinfeld’s character, Nadine, is just trying to get through the day. Nadine has only survived this far because she could rely on her best friend, Krista, who is played by Haley Lu Richardson. However, when Krista starts dating Nadine’s all-star brother Darian, played by Blake Jenner, Nadine’s world is turned upside down. She feels more awkward and alone than ever and has to figure out how to break free from her outcast state.
Other noteworthy actors who appear in this film are Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick. Harrelson plays Nadine’s favorite teacher. He’s sarcastic and cynical, but there for Nadine when she needs him most. He’s probably the most comical role in the film. Watching their relationship play out on screen may be the best part of the movie. Sedgwick’s role is a lot deeper. She plays Nadine’s mother, which is significant because Nadine loses her father at a young age. Trying to handle her own grief, in addition to her rebellious daughter’s, is not an easy task.
While Nadine’s relationships are captivating, Nadine herself is an enjoyable character to watch. She’s extremely quirky. While some characters yell when they’re angry, she throws her shoe at a wall. As an adult audience, you also know she’s overreacting when her best friend and brother start dating. We can see the bigger picture, but she’s caught in what seems like the end of the world. It’s a trap most adolescents fall into, whether they want to or not. I can vouch for this, as I’m just leaving my teens behind myself. That said, we still feel for her, even though we know she’s going a bit overboard.
We also can relate to the idea of feeling overshadowed by a sibling or a family member. Nadine feels like her brother is perfect and she’s somehow the most awkward creation humanity has ever seen. Their relationship is tense until the end of the movie. Even though they don’t get along, they really do love each other. It’s interesting to watch them come together, and this type of familial strife is relatable. Everyone has had at least one experience with someone who makes them feel inferior. It’s part of life.
I think the biggest reason I love this movie is because it captures life so well, and not only because it’s themes are so relatable. A lot of movies try to imitate high school, but they feel off. For example, 30 year old actors are pretending to be 15 year olds. This film actually felt like I was back in high school. The acting, locations, casting, story – everything was spot on. This might be the first high school film I’ve seen that actually captured the teen angst and high school experience perfectly. A+ for that!
This film is worthy of a lot of praise. Get your tickets now, and check it out starting on November 18th.