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The Edge of Seventeen - Film Review

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by Serena Reidy (subscribe)
Freelance writer and avid reader living in the North of London. Check out my blog at
Published February 3rd 2017
The Edge of Seventeen is a hilarious comedy that will resonate with most teenagers.

The Edge of Seventeen is one of the few coming-of-age films that have stood out in recent years. Unfortunately, it seemed to go unnoticed and many people hadn't even heard of it. This is surprising considering that the film was heavily praised by critics and has even been compared to the work of John Hughes, who directed some of the best teenage films of all time (including The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink).
Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen introduces us to Nadine, a seventeen-year-old girl who is a bit of an outcast and only has one friend, Krista (portrayed by newcomer Haley Lu Richardson, who you may also have seen in Split and the teen show Awkward). The pair have been friends since they were little, when Krista was the only kid to notice Nadine standing alone in the school playground. Nadine felt liked for the first time in her life and pretty much became inseparable from Krista. However, Krista hooks up with Nadine's older brother at a party, betraying her trust and ruining their friendship.

Furious at both her brother and Krista, Nadine soon descends into a period of darkness. She becomes alienated and vents all her problems to her teacher, Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson). She also makes a surprising connection with Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto), a boy in her class who harbours a secret crush on her. Connecting with Mr Bruner and Erwin makes Nadine feel less alone and less inferior to her popular brother. She also goes on a date with her crush Nick Mossman (Alexander Calvert), after accidently sending him a rather embarrassing text. Unfortunately, Nick's intentions aren't exactly what Nadine was expecting.
Kelly Fremon Craig has created a well-developed protagonist that the audience is able to sympathise with. Nadine is a cross between Bianca Piper in The DUFF (2015) and Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), with her sarcasm, wit and bluntness. Nadine is also very self-deprecating and makes fun of herself, although she doesn't want to follow the crowd and be like other teens. Craig did a good job casting Hailee Steinfeld as the lead; Steinfeld has just turned 20 herself so she is familiar with what it is like to be a teenager in the twenty-first century. Perhaps Hailee is so convincing as Nadine because she didn't exactly have the best time at school; her parents had to pull her out because she was being bullied.

The Edge of Seventeen isn't the only film Hailee shines in. She captured the attention of critics after starring as Mattie in True Grit and received an Oscar nomination for this role when she was only 13. Hailee also joined Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson in the 2015 sequel to Pitch Perfect. You may not be aware that Hailee has recently embarked on a solo singing career, and has released a number of catchy tunes, including 'Love Myself' and 'Rock Bottom'. She is undeniably one of the most successful young celebrities at the moment, and hopefully this will continue.
In summary, The Edge of Seventeen is a unique film that doesn't rely on any stereotypes or clichés to drive its plot. What makes The Edge of Seventeen so good is the fact that it is realistic and relatable, unlike a lot of other coming-of-age films, and will make you feel nostalgic about your teenage years. The Edge of Seventeen is a film I'd be happy to see again, for its clever script, good soundtrack and stellar cast.
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Why? For a film you'll be able to identify with
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