“Fast, full hearted” (Hollywood Review), “foul-mouthed and hilarious” (The Atlantic), “graceful and bold” (Rotten Tomatoes) are just a few words to describe the newest teen classic, The Edge of Seventeen. Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, and Haley Lu Richardson star in this Denver-based comedy.
Hailee Steinfeld plays 17-year-old high school junior Nadine. The movie begins with Nadine and Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), her best friend, young and at the school playground. Nadine’s brother, Darian, is shown as well. There is an air of superiority in Darian, and Nadine knows it. The movie then flashes to Nadine when she is 13. She stares into a mirror with her hair cut all pageboy and her face covered with acne. A horrible car accident that kills her father precedes the next scene of 17-year-old Nadine. The drama begins when Krista starts dating Darian, leaving Nadine feeling worthless, lonely, and used. Nadine tries to make friends with her crush, Nick Moss, which leads to unexpected circumstances. The story goes on with Nadine meeting a “very kind, very gentle, very wise” (or so she describes him) Asian boy named Erwin and bonding with her history teacher, Mr. Bruner.
Kyra Sedgwick, playing Nadine’s mother in the film, gives her the advice that “everyone in the world is as miserable and empty as I am-- they’re just better at hiding it.” Darian, the popular and big-headed football team captain who seems to have the perfect life, breaks down near the end of the movie under the weight of all he has to deal with-- from his widowed mother to the tumultuous life of his sister. This movie is about realizing that no matter how perfectly pristine someone’s life appears to be, no one is perfect and everyone is going through something. The movie expresses how all problems are equally significant and shows that we should never judge someone by how they look.
Emma Eichelberger, senior, who saw the movie on its opening night, commented, “[The movie] was hilarious, especially the scenes with Mr. Bruner and Erwin. I loved the movie; it played all my emotions! I definitely would recommend it.”
“Steinfeld's wonderfully nuanced, authentic portrayal of the delightfully opinionated, angst-ridden, and awkward Nadine turns this sometimes-edgy high school comedy into a touching gem,” Common Sense Media reviews. This movie isn’t just another teen movie. With spunk, sass, and occasional satire, this film is all about the sometimes-rough life of being a teenager.