Movie Review: The Edge of Seventeen

I had heard a lot about The Edge of Seventeen before seeing it in the theater, as it was being touted as "John Hughes-esque" (ie, similar to classic teen films like The Breakfast Club, etc.) and that it was going to be the most memorable "teen" film that has premiered in a while. Although it didn't measure up to quite that level, it's still a refreshingly funny movie that is worth seeing.

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) never had many friends, even from a young age, until she meets Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), with whom she bonds instantly. Flash-forward to today, and they're both juniors in high school, with Krista still being Nadine's only friend. After Nadine's brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) throws a small party at their house, Krista starts hanging out more with him, eventually becoming his girlfriend, and Nadine can't handle it: she demands that Krista chooses, either her or her brother. Because she's now friendless, Nadine starts hanging out more with Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), her teacher, and decides to pursue her crush on Nick (Alexander Calvert), while dodging advances from Erwin (Hayden Szeto), the cute boy who sits next to her in one of her classes. Nadine's mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick) has had a hard time ever since Nadine's father passed away, too, and it's up to both Nadine and Darian to help keep her sane.

I found this to be your typical teen movie, except a little smarter and funnier. Both Steinfeld and Harrelson steal the show, and the supporting actors are good too, including Sedgwick, Szeto (whose character is adorable here), Richardson, and Jenner. I liked the decision to make this film R-rated, because teens don't always do things that are PG-13 rated, and we see more "real life" stories play out here because of it.

Yes, see this movie. It's worth seeing for Harrelson's character's humor alone; I suspect they cast him to have this movie appeal to a broader age of audiences, as my parents both really liked seeing him in the role, and Steinfeld is perfect at playing an angst-ridden high school teen, even though she's 19 in real life. I'm not sure I would pay full price for this movie, but it's a better option than most of the other comedies playing currently, and it's definitely worth seeing, whether you see it in the theater or out on Blu-ray/DVD.

The Edge of Seventeen is in theaters today, November 18th, and is rated R with a runtime of 104 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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