Whilst most of us may wish to be younger, there are very few who’d want to revisit those difficult teenage years. Coming-of-age is a time of uncertainty, confusion, fear, anxiety and excitement. This is heightened in the digital age. Hollywood normally treats teenage drama with a heavy hand and lashings of melodrama. However, the likes of The Breakfast Club, Juno, Mean Girls, Almost Famous and Pretty in Pink demonstrate it’s possible to buck the trend given a strong script and good acting. Sharp dialogue is something that Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen has in spades. Not to mention a breakout performance from Hailee Steinfeld.
Nadine (Steinfeld) has never been the most extroverted of people but the high school loner’s complicated and troubled existence takes a new blow when her best (and let’s be honest, only) friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her ‘perfect’ older brother (Blake Jenner). As her world comes crashing down around her, she finds solace from her acerbic history teacher (Woody Harrelson) and awkward classmate (Hayden Szeto).
The Edge of Seventeen is full of life and energy. The movie is all Steinfeld. She portrays Nadine perfectly; an unsympathetic character whom you can’t help but root for. The script is dynamite and the scenes between Nadine and Mr Bruner (Harrelson) are electrifying. There’s humour and pathos, but never even the remotest whiff of melodrama. The Edge of Seventeen is darkly comic drama about the difficulties of growing up, propelled by a stellar lead performance.
The Edge of Seventeen is out to Download from Saturday and on DVD from Monday 27th March.