Friday, November 18, 2016

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

Hailee Steinfeld & Hayden Szeto (r) star in The Edge of Seventeen

An Old Soul

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: The Edge of Seventeen is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club - an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it's like to grow up as a young woman in today's modern world. Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson.) All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy (Hayden Szeto) gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. The film also stars Kyra Sedgwick as Nadine's well-meaning but completely ineffective mother, and Woody Harrelson as Nadine's History teacher, mentor and reluctant sounding board. The Edge of Seventeen is produced by Academy Award winner James L. Brooks - the filmmaker behind big-screen, character-driven classics such as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Big, Say Anything, The Simpsons, Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.

I'm a sucker for a good coming-of-age movie, and Nadine's "raging dumpster fire" of a childhood qualifies as one of the best in a long time. The Edge of Seventeen isn't necessarily remarkable in any one area, but it's an absolute joy to watch with (many) moments of teenage angst, awkwardness, discovery and flat out charm. Steinfeld's terrific, and appears destined for stardom (at the ripe old age of 19.) Harrelson & Sedgwick lend stability (their characters notwithstanding) and the story tackles typical teen tragedies with dignity and light-heartedness. Kudos to Kelly Fremon Craig (director, writer) for a stellar debut.

Grade: B+