The Edge of Seventeen           review by Bobby Blakey

It’s rare that we get many of the teen coming of ages films that aren’t catered to the younger audience. While that may seem like a strange statement, if you think at the old John Hughes films like The Breakfast Club there was a mature nature to the film while still dealing with their teen issues. When I saw trailer for The Edge of Seventeen I was immediately reminded of these sorts of films. With a great cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Woody Harrelson, and Kyra Sedgwick could it somehow live up to that comparison or will it not worth the teen angst we expect?

The Edge of Seventeen follows Nadine, who is already at her peak awkwardness in high school when her all-star older brother Darian starts dating her best friend Krista. All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. Going into this film I kept my expectations low, but hoped for something special with an  R rating and great cast and I was not disappointed. From the first scene with Steinfeld and Harrelson you know that you are in for something special. While the main focus is not on these two characters together they share some of the best moments of the film. Their moments together offer up the wise and hilarious moments for her character to move forward when she is at a loss while never making it too heavy. There are a lot of great moments throughout this film despite some of it falling into the clichéd genre of these kinds films. Despite this often by the numbers aspect the cast and more than anything Steinfeld keep it feeling fresh and interesting throughout.

Everyone here does a great job with Steinfeld carrying the film to perfection and Harrelson offering the above mentioned mentor moments while still being yet another thorn in her mental capacity. Haley Lu Richardson and Blake Jenner bring their own depth to their characters that are both a necessity due to the important roles they play in the overall story. While Kyra Sedgwick is also not given a ton of screen time she has the most chaotic role as she struggles to deal with being a working mom, loss and overall daily life. When they are all together there is nothing but struggle and insanity, but under it all you can see a love that just needs to heal. While Steinfeld is dealing with the dismay of her friend dating her brother, which is the main focus outside her daily awkwardness there is a great building romance that is clear the audience, but not so much to her. This in turn offers up some uncomfortable moments between awkward characters and a powerful sequence that deals with the dangerous world of social media without ever making the film overly heavy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the finished product of this film. It really does live up to the comparison of films like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, but in a more modern way. Sure those movies connect more with my generation, but this one does the same for this generation while giving us that familiar territory that we so loved in the 80s. If you want to see a great movie that doesn’t try to force feed you anything other than life and laughs then check it out.

In addition to the film this release includes deleted scenes and a gag reel that brings more to fun to this great flick. Relive the most uncomfortable time of your life with The Edge of Seventeen available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.

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