For those who may have missed the endearing coming of age story The Edge of Seventeen, you'll want to make it a must-see movie ASAP. While this film was highly praised by critics (even so much as to score Hailee Steinfeld a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination), it is still vastly under-rated among viewers. This story tackles some very real struggles of being an adolescent girl trying to navigate her way through life. With the profoundly moving dialogue and raw emotion of the characters, it is well beyond accurate in depicting the pain of rejection and longing for acceptance that resonates with people of all ages.
What makes the movie more appealing is that you aren't just rooting for one person; there are a handful of supporting characters who are just as relatable. On the other hand, there are also those characters in the movie who test your patience and earn your rebuke. You find yourself desperately wanting to lash out at the unfairness of humans being….well, humans.
Another pleasantry of the film is that the characters on screen don't feel like strangers, but like people you know in your everyday life: The older brother with the strong sense of duty to take care of his family. The apathetic teacher, who you surprisingly learn more from than the history books. The emotionally damaged mother who has no control of her own life. Even the friend who loves you best, but hurts you the most. All of these key players are significant in developing Nadine (Steinfeld) and molding her choices throughout the course of the film. The results of her actions are not only heartbreaking, as you imagine yourself in her shoes, they are also totally real responses to the situations she finds herself in. There is a particular scene in the film with Nadine and her high school crush that pulls several different emotions from me. Call me a typical girl, but when I watch this lost teenager sitting in the older boy’s beater car all alone with him (clearly unaware of the implications that go along with it), it rattles me. She shows such vulnerability and willingness to do whatever it takes for attention in that moment, and it makes my heart sink. While this may not be every teenage girl’s experience, it is unfortunately far from being the only one of its kind. There is something to be said for a script not afraid to explore the deeper issues of today’s youth, and for that this movie holds a special and rare respect.
Like any true coming of age tale, everything does not necessarily turn out as expected. However the story does leave you hopeful for Nadine, and what the future high school years will be for her. This movie causes you to reflect on the forgotten parts of your younger self that made you the adult you are today. If for no other reason than that, The Edge of Seventeen is completely original and instantly lovable.
19 upperclassmen prom dates out of 20 (95%)