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The Edge of Seventeen: An Edgy and Poignantly Honest Coming-of-Age High School Dramedy

Updated on February 27, 2017

Riding the tidal wave of teenage angst!

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The cast was great and Hailee Steinfeld, which was the front and center of it all, was exceptionally compelling. Who knew that she has impeccable comedic timing and delivery? If her precocious and headstrong performance as Mattie Ross in ‘True Grit’ was a revelation, her nuanced portrayal of the bewildered and angsty Nadine in this film was a spectacular exposition of her evolution as an artist. She can make you laugh in one scene and then break your heart in another.

It’s an irreverent yet thoughtful, well-acted and sharply written coming-of-age high school dramedy. ’The Edge of Seventeen’ might be generic and at times predictable but it was effective in its entirety because it utilized the familiarity of the subject matter to depict an honest and relatable story about how it feels like to be a teenager (again). I’m actually glad that it’s ‘Rated R’ as it didn’t attempt to water down anything to earn a box office return.

She was relatable, funny and painfully poignant. Her acting range was in full display here—taking us through the peaks and valleys of her immense talent and emotional depth; not to show off but to let us vicariously experience her perplexing journey into teenage angst so that we can empathize with her character.

What I like about this movie is that the characters felt real unlike the stereotypical and one-dimensional versions that Hollywood usually manufactures every time it churns out a ‘teen flick’. They talk and behave like real people although they look slightly more attractive because after all, this is still a movie.

The wry 'student-teacher' banter.

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The dialogue was fluid and believable and the only time that it was slightly unrealistic was during Hailee (Nadine) and Woody’s (Mr. Bruner) ‘student-teacher’ banters. Although their scenes together were some of the most delightful parts of the film, the stuff that Woody spouts to scoff at Hailee’s melodramatic outbursts can instantly get him fired from his job in real life. Having said that, their wry back-and-forths were necessary because they were impeccably and effectively utilized as comedic tools to move the plot forward.

'The Edge of Seventeen' Official Red Band Trailer

’The Edge of Seventeen’ is a thoroughly enjoyable coming-of-age film that reveled in its familiarity and flourished in its unabashed honesty. It may be a movie about a teenager but it’s not necessarily a ‘teen flick’ because it’s coming from a place of truth.

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