Movie review: ‘The Edge of Seventeen’

This image released by STX Films shows Hailee Steinfeld, left, and Haley Lu Richardson in a scene from "The Edge of Seventeen." (Murray Close/STX Films via AP)

Even before the release date on Friday Nov. 18, it was easy to see that “The Edge of Seventeen” was going to be a hit. With just the right amount of sarcastic humor, awkward situations and tears, this movie effortlessly relates to teens and adults all over the world.

Everyone remembers what is was like to be 17; the awkward age before turning 18 when you realize you have to decide what to do with the rest of your life. Deemed the “best teen movie in years” by Vox, “The Edge of Seventeen” is definitely a success. 

The movie stars Hailee Steinfeld (who rose to the spotlight in the “Pitch Perfect” sequel) as Nadine, an awkward 17-year-old girl who is dealing with a lot of different issues in her life. When Nadine was younger, her dad passed away, after having what appeared to be a heart attack, while he was driving with Nadine in the car. This left the family functioning in a rather dysfunctional way, as her mother is an emotional mess who is unable to take care of the family. Nadine also does not get along with her brother Darian, who she assumes is perfect.

Nadine’s life begins to crumble further when Krista, her best friend since second grade (who happens to be her only friend), starts dating her brother. She confides in her history teacher, Mr. Bruner, who proceeds to make light of the situation by making fun of her. She eventually breaks through his wall of unfriendliness and finds a friend in him.

On top of that, Nadine is also dealing with boy troubles. She fantasizes about Nick, the bad boy who pays her no attention while Erwin, an awkward but charmingly sweet boy from her history class, tries to get a chance to spend time with her. Not seeing the great guy she already had in front of her, Nadine chases after Nick and ends up hitting rock bottom when he breaks her heart.

With the help of Mr. Bruner and Erwin, Nadine eventually realizes that no one is perfect, including Darian. She learns she was not the only one who was affected by their dads passing and is able to mend her relationship with both Krista and Erwin.

“The Edge of Seventeen” has a great balance to it. It touches lightly on issues that very much affect the world today, such as suicide, depression and loss, but also provides ridiculous situations and jokes to make you laugh. In true coming-to-age fashion, the movie ends on a happy note, as Nadine is able to resolve her issues with her brother and best friend, and finds some peace of mind.

Additionally, Nadine has a larger-than-life personality and her reactions are genuine and easy to relate to. With such a fully developed main character, you’ll find yourself tearing up, immersed in her story and thinking about your own life. If you enjoy a good teen drama or comedy, I’d definitely recommend you watch this one.

Rating: 9/10


Cynthia Reinert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at cynthia.reinert@uconn.edu.