by Marcel Balladares
With only a handful of films under her belt, Kelly Fremon shows what it’s like to be a teen dealing with tough situations today.
The Edge of Seventeen is fantastic as the situations shown throughout the film can be seen as small to some and life altering to others, with Hailee Steinfeld being at the center of it all. An Oscar nominated actress for the Coen brothers’ 2010 version of True Grit, co-star in Pitch Perfect 2 ,and an up and coming pop-star shows off her versatility in this film through playing a crude but smart, socially awkward butterfly named Nadine. Nadine’s only friend since childhood, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) is an incredible people person and the best friend you never knew you had. Nadine’s older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner, played character Ryder Lynn on hit TV show Glee) is the optimistic golden boy who everyone loves. Their recently widowed mother, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick), continuously works hard to keep her family afloat while being a single mom.
Nadine drifts through high school with her best friend Krista close by her side and finds a worthy emotional sparring partner, in her history teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson) who’s able to put up with Nadine’s witty humor and send it right back. Her classmate, the smart and dorky Erwin (Hayden Szeto) is able to connect with Nadine slightly even though he doesn’t find himself at her center focus; that doesn’t stop him from showing off the crush he has on her.
Although high school seems to be a dysfunctional repeated process for Nadine it seems doable, until it comes crashing down when Krista and Darian hook up after a long night of drinking. She tries to go along with it by going to a house party with them but can’t take it and decides to hang out with Erwin instead. Nadine doesn’t realize the chemistry between her and Erwin because of her crush on the hipster bad boy Nick (Alexander Calvert) which is made obvious when she says “God, juvie made him so hot”.
Nadine finds herself to be a victim of her own undoing by sending a message on social media to Nick. It’s prematurely thought out and sends her on a whirlwind of events that leave Nadine’s unstable relationships hanging on by a thread. Both Steinfield and Jenner’s characters show off common high school relationships between siblings, while facing heartbreaking situations and overcoming them.
The film focuses on the fact that most teenagers and young adults have a difficult time dealing with loss, overcoming it and continuing on with their lives to tackle all the other obstacles they face. The general premise for the movie can be seen similar to films directed by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink). Even though, director Kelly Fremon Craig is somewhat new to the film industry; she will definitely go down in history as being one of the individuals to have created a new “cult classic”.
The language and humor throughout the film might be inappropriate for underage children. It definitely focuses on life lessons we all deal with at one point or another by showing us that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s a perfect coming of age story for the whole family to see. The acting is truly spectacular not only by Steinfield but the rest of the cast and absolutely is a must see.