I went into this movie with high expectations. I had heard from so many people, critics and friends alike, that this was a relatable, smart teen comedy reminiscent of Juno, Mean Girls, and classic John Hughes movies. I left entertained but mildly disappointed.
The film follows Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager who’s world is basically falling apart: her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) is dating her brother (Blake Jenner), her mom (Kyra Sedgwick) is distant, and the guy of her dreams (Alexander Calvert) doesn’t know she exists. Her two saving graces? Her awesomely smart-ass teacher Mr. Bruner (a wonderful Woody Harrelson) and her cute but nerdy friend Erwin (Hayden Szeto), who is desperately in love with her.
The Edge of Seventeen is smartly written and the dialogue is pitch perfect. The language used in the film was what I heard during my school years, and there are plenty of funny (and wise) quips. The story is incredibly predicable, though, and I personally couldn’t relate to Nadine. I didn’t go through the same situations as she did, and she sometimes came off as being a whiny brat to me. That’s just my old lady side coming out, I guess.
The actors are fantastic, and this is my favorite role of Hailee Steinfeld’s. I adored Hayden Szeto as the guy caught in the friend zone, and Woody Harrelson stole every scene he was in. Everyone gave authentic performances, and that’s a major strength of the film.
Overall, I had a good time with The Edge of Seventeen, but left underwhelmed. It’s a smart and charming movie with an incredibly gifted cast, but the story is predictable and I couldn’t personally relate to the struggles relayed on screen.