Teenage years can be tough, but with generation gaps one may not understand the new morals and traditions the modern era establishes. Enter Hollywood, who may help bridge the gap by making a movie to hopefully shed some accurate light on the subject. This brings me to my review this morning, Edge of Seventeen, a coming of age film starring Hailee Steinfield, Woody Harrelson, and a slew of other actors. Robbie K here, bringing you another movie review, so let’s get started.
- Realistic portrayal of teens
- Witty comical writing
- Good moral lesson
If you want a realistic movie, then Edge of Seventeen is for you. It dumps special effects and original tales for a better portrayal of the culture around you. This film drops you into the life of a “typical” teenager and all the drama that comes with the hormonal changes of those trying years. One will get to see the concepts of sex, relationships, family, and self-worth as you follow Nadine’s journey into growing up. Those who are ticked off by today’s morals need to skip this film, but those with an open mind may enjoy the psychology involved with the decisions made by youths. While I’m certainly no teenager, I felt this movie did a nice job representing the turmoil some youths feel, primarily in the social pressures established from trying to grow up too quickly.
Fortunately, the movie isn’t just about portraying the different morals of teenagers, but instead tries to teach lessons about life. While preachy at points, the movie does a nice job illustrating that the everyone has troubles we all must deal with. Nadine brings a lot of teenage angst and rebellion under the guise of life sucks, without realizing others may be suffering just as much. And the screenplay writers do a bang up job teaching her, and hopefully the audience, important lessons about empathy, open minded thinking, and not relying on social media to rule your life. Two thumbs up in my book.
While the realism brings about a lot of drama, cause let’s face it the modern world is a bunch of drama, it also brings about very intelligent writing. Edge of Seventeen has plenty of meme worthy faces and one-liners, the comedy as a whole is quite witty. Steinfield’s lines, while simplistic, are timed well as she delivers them with emotional affect needed. Hayden Setzo as the geeky Erwin, brings the awkward teenager character to life, equipped with nervous stuttering and awkward moments that are truly entertaining. The biggest source of laughs come in the form of Woody Harrelson as the mentor/uninterested teacher whose sarcasm and insults are the definition of intelligent writing. All of this provides a bunch of laughs, or at least chuckles.
- Slow at times
- Nadine is quite annoying
Yes, this is a common complaint of mine in films like this, but hear me out. I and some of the other audience members, found the Edge of Seventeen a tad slow at parts of this movie. Nadine’s journey to growing up gets a tad repetitive at times, adding some unnecessary moments that could have been left for the director’s cut. Some of the repetitive drama points or seeing her crying on screen were emotional yes, but sometime unnecessary and helped trim some time off the film. And because of the sad, somewhat depressing tone of the movie the film dragged at a bit at times as well, especially when there were few positive moments to relieve the negativity. Yes, I get this is the point and the perspective most teenagers take, but Hollywood magic would have been welcome here.
And as for Nadine, never have I both enjoyed and loathed a character on screen at once. Being a teenager can be rough, but this character crossed the border to annoyingly crazy a fair number of times in the movie. Whether it was the whiny element to her voice, the whimsical use of the F bomb, or perhaps the repetitive complaints of the problem, there was always something irritating about this character. Eventually other characters were introduced to help temper these moments, but some of the extreme brat like behavior, and how blind she was to it, was a little over the top at times. Maybe this is how teenagers act and maybe it isn’t, but the team could have designed a little more balance to Nadine in my honest opinion.
The Edge of Seventeen is certainly an artistic movie worthy of some attention for realistic portrayals of a culture and some grade A acting chemistry. Witty writing and relevant references make this film an enjoyable piece of work for many and the morals add a teaching element for future classroom movie days. Yet the pace could have used some picking up and the annoying primary character need some fine tuning to help smooth out the rough edges of the movie of this otherwise predictable tale. Nevertheless, this movie has the potential for nominations, and could be good for some to visit the theaters. Yet I suggest skipping this film for the theaters and holding out for Netflix/Redbox for viewing pleasures.
Movie Overall: 7.0