“The Edge of Seventeen” is a classic coming of age movie featuring Hailee Steinfeld in the prominent role of conflicted high school junior Nadine.
However, this movie, originally titled “Besties”, has one startling difference: “You’re only young once- is it over yet?” While most coming of age movies show the youth not wanting to leave behind the carefree lifestyle of minors, Nadine is ready to be a real, functioning adult.
The ascent into adulthood is rocky for everyone, but for Nadine, it was particularly awful. Always in the shadow of her older brother, Nadine feels she will never be able to live up to his achievements. At thirteen, she is insecure about how she looks (aren’t we all?). While getting burgers with her father, he dies, leaving a large shadow over Nadine’s life that greatly impacted the way she viewed the world and her feelings towards others.
Starting with a blossoming relationship between Nadine’s older brother Darian and her best friend Krista, Nadine begins to feel more alone than she ever has before. After catching Krista and Darian in bed together, she makes Krista choose between her and Darian. Krista leaves Nadine alone, and she meets Erwin. Erwin is a smart, awkward, geeky guy who has a crush on Nadine. They become awkward friends as she ignores his romantic advances and goes for the classic bad boy instead, which, as always, ends horribly.
Miraculously, the film ends with everyone happy and hugging and Nadine and Krista being best friends again.
My problem with this movie is that I feel much of it would not play out in real life the way it did on the screen. This wasn’t a fantasy movie; it was supposed to be a realistic indie film about a teenager’s struggles that, when played out, became a film about a whiny main character with a slight inferiority complex. Personally, I think Nadine was being much too touchy on the whole subject. I’m quite good friends with my brother’s girlfriend, and I certainly wouldn’t make him choose between the two of us.
However, casting aside the questionable ending, the movie contained fantastic acting portrayed by great actors. Each of the characters is well-written, thought out, and deep. While it had some problems, “The Edge of Seventeen” was not the worst indie flick in history, and I believe that people could like it. It was not my cup to tea, but I believe that many could feel and relate to this and love this movie.