TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Edge of Seventeen’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, TIFF 2016 by - September 21, 2016

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When a high school student goes to tell a teacher she is about to commit suicide, his response tells you much of what you need to know about The Edge of Seventeen. She’s overdramatic, he’s dry, everything in the world is crumbling down, but only it’s not because this is just what it’s like to be a teenager in this world.

Hailee Steinfeld is Nadine, an at times unbearably annoying and almost always awkward student whose short life has been full of tragedy, but also a lot of self-created negativity. Which is to say, it all seems pretty normal.

She likes a mysterious boy that doesn’t notice her; she doesn’t like a nerdy guy that does crush on her; her father died a long time ago so her mom works and dates a lot; her older brother is perfect. And when her best friend and brother start dating, Nadine feels betrayed and a downward spiral begins.

While bits and pieces are funny and charming, there is too much unearned insufferability that consumes Nadine’s life. I suppose being a teen does pretty much suck, from social media gaffes, wanting to be invited to parties, and need of sex, but The Edge of Seventeen makes it more irksome than enjoyable.

However, guidance is given by an incredibly relaxed teacher (Woody Harrelson), who more than anyone knows how to deal with teenagers generally and Nadine specifically. His presence is calm and hysterical, while Nadine, and the movie, plods along in predictable fashion.

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