Saturday, 10 December 2016

'The Edge Of Seventeen' Review

As a film fan, amongst my favourites are coming of age comedies like 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'The Breakfast Club'. There's just something that resonates with me within this genre that makes me love these types of films. I'm very glad to say that the same effect has happened with 'The Edge of Seventeen'.

Life sucks for 17-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) and it seems to get a whole lot worse when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Everything seems to get worse for the awkward teen as she is more alone than ever whilst dealing with her teenage life problems.

In coming of age stories, you need a likeable or relatable- or a combination of the two - main character in order for the viewer to actually care about. All successful coming of age movies do so (Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me etc) and 'The Edge of Seventeen' can certainly be added to that list. Hailee Steinfeld's Nadine is my personal favourite character of the year. It feels very odd to say that a 17-year-old girl is a character whom I've seen most of myself in this year. Nadine doesn't associate with a certain group, likes old movies, a bit over dramatic at times and very awkward at times in front of certain people. This character represents so many people incredibly well as there is at least something that people will be able to relate to. However, it doesn't stop there. There are plenty of other characters within the film that are relatable, whether it is the older brother who has to keep things together or even just the character traits of Woody Harrelson's character Mr Bruner. The film captures so many aspects of teenage life to near perfection in what was scarily accurate at times.

Hailee Steinfeld helps with this feeling as she brings one of the year's most impactful and best performances. Steinfeld is perfect in this role as Nadine as she goes through all sorts of troubles bringing fantastic comedic and dramatic moments to the film. Steinfeld's performance is touching yet hilarious as the combo works magnificently. Steinfeld combines so well with the other characters, especially with Woody Harrelson as the duo's chemistry was phenomenal. The two's cynical comedy was hilarious and a real pleasure to watch. Harrelson too does very well with the comedy but as the film comes closer to the end, he shows great range by being a supportive adult figure for Nadine. Blake Jenner was great earlier this year in Richard Linklater's comedy 'Everybody Wants Some!!' and his performance in this film rounds off a good year for Jenner. Jenner gets to show more range in this film and he delivers a powerful, passionate speech at the end which was one of the films best moments. The film is filled with great performances including Kyra Sedgwick and Hayden Szeto as I could go on and on praising the wonderful talent involved in this film.

What this film does so well as it balances the many different aspects of teenage life. We see the fun that Nadine has in small doses as not everything is terrible all of the time. This by far is the main part of the film with the comedy shining. There are so many clever jokes that just land every time unlike many comedies this year. The deliveries from the cast as well as patient build-up lead to the film becoming one of the year's funniest films. However, the film is certainly not afraid to get serious. I already mentioned the qualities shown by members of the cast in these moments but that's only touching the surface. There is a scene in this film that is actually quite difficult to watch. This is simply due to the subject matter and due to you caring about the character. The ending of this film is incredible as it delivers on all points, having you laughing and then feeling sad shortly after.  

The film comes from first-time director and writer Kelly Fermon Craig who has cited John Hughes as an influence for this film. This film is the closest we are going to get to the works of John Hughes ever again. This is an incredibly clever, funny and well thought out film executed to perfection in what is an incredible first feature film. Crag most definitely is someone to look out for if she can continue to craft great stories with this much detail and quality. What is great about this is that it adds another female director who should be given more opportunities as we look for more diversity in film roles.

This film is most definitely going to resonate with me for a very long time. I loved every moment of this film from start to finish. From the high to the lows. The comedy and the drama mixed perfectly well as if it were a classic John Hughes film. There are so many things I can relate to in this film as this cinema experience was unlike any other I can remember having. The characters, the performances, just everything amazed me. I was entertained thoroughly in the meanwhile leaving me no option to give this film the highest possible rating.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'The Edge of Seventeen'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie which I highly recommend. You really won't regret checking this one out. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor