The trailer for The Edge of Seventeen sold me really quick.  It’s about a girl named Nadine who loses her best (and only) friend Krista when Krista starts dating Nadine’s brother.  I thought the trailer was pretty outstanding.  On another occasion I was sitting in the movie theater when a red band trailer played for the flick.  I was even more impressed.  I thought it looked like a great coming-of-age film.  Then…I didn’t see it in theaters.  Unfortunately most didn’t see it in theaters as the film barely squeaked out 17 million dollars.  My fault?  Absolutely.  If something interests you – you should go support it.  I’ll rectify and course correct right now.

The back of the Blu-Ray cover postulates that this film is in the vein of such John Hughes movies as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.  I disagree here.  While it is an amazing teen film I find it more in line with Hughes’ film Some Kind of Wonderful.  Why?  I thought that both Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club were great “coming-of-age films” but both were really played for comedy.  They were meant to be funny films that dealt with teen issues.  Some Kind of Wonderful was definitely a more adult John Hughes films.  It isn’t really played for laughs.  The same can be said of The Edge of Seventeen.  It is a great look at the life of a teenager but it isn’t done to be funny.  The film has its moments that can be humorous but for the most part the filmmaker plays it straight.  I think because of this it makes for a better film.

The film stars Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine – a 17 year old who doesn’t have much of a social life.  Unlike her older, more popular brother Darian (Blake Jenner) Nadine has only one friend.  That friend is Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) and the duo have been best friends since the second grade.  Nadine is now a junior and is just trying to navigate a world she doesn’t quite fit into.  She’s not a texter.  She doesn’t go around taking selfies.  She’s not self-absorbed.  She calls herself an old soul.  She actually is a likable person – it is a shame that the kids in school don’t really think so.

After a night of drinking Nadine wakes up on the bathroom floor.  She finds Krista in bed with her brother.  It is a shock to her entire soul.  How could her best friend betray her like that?  At first it seems like it was just a one time thing but soon Nadine realizes that the two are getting closer and closer.  Hurt by it all Nadine issues an ultimatum: him or me.  Unfortunately the decision is not one that Nadine likes and the friendship ends.  Nadine is alone.

Nadine pines for bad boy Nick Mossman while trying to figure out what to do with nerdy but cute guy Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto) who is into her.  She can’t get along with her mother (Kyra Sedgwick).  The only older person she relates to is one of her teachers, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson).  Unfortunately Bruner is a slightly cocky very sarcastic educator who slightly teases Nadine for her teenage problems.

Ultimately the film is about forgiveness and the ability to deal with not only loss but life itself.  Being a teenager can be a sucky thing and you feel for Nadine as she goes through the hell that is high school alone.  Why do you feel for Nadine?  It’s because of the standout performance by Hailee Steinfeld who completely blew me away.  She was amazing.  The movie rests fully on her shoulders and she was just phenomenal.  Steinfeld was rightly nominated for a Golden Globe award (which she didn’t win.  Don’t feel bad Hailee…Meryl Streep didn’t win either) but was ignored for the Academy Awards.  It’s a shame.  It was a breakout role.

Two other standouts.  #1 was Blake Jenner and as I sat there watching the film I was like, “Wow – the Kardashian/Jenner clan actually churned out a really good actor?  I’m shocked!”  Then I looked Blake up and found out he had no relations to the very famous family.  That’s probably even better.  Blake played that cocky, uncaring older brother pretty damn well.

#2 – Hayden Szeto was INCREDIBLE as Erwin – the guy who is crushing pretty hard on Nadine.  He is so damn cute and loveable you immediately want him to hook up with Nadine.  He is geeky and awkward…so his initial advances are just pretty painful.  But by the end of the film you are really pulling for Erwin.  Hell…you are pulling for everyone.

Okay I lied…Woody Harrelson is #3 and he was fantastic as the teacher who really tries not to care but finds himself entwined in Nadine’s life.  He is pretty much a sarcastic ass and that is why I so appreciated his character.  If I was a teacher and had to deal with teenagers all day I’m pretty sure that is EXACTLY how I would act.

As for the Blu-Ray itself there’s actually not much to it.  The 1080p hi-def looks great, the flick sounds great, so that’s all well and good.  But the disc doesn’t have any of the film’s trailers.  Which I thought was a bit weird.  You would think as writer, producer, and director of the film Kelly Fremon Craig would have a lot to say about her film.  Is there a commentary?  Nope.  Not Kelly.  Not Hailee.  No one.  Now I wouldn’t listen to a commentary track anyway but I’m sure there are many people out there who enjoy them.

What are the disc’s extras?  There is a gag reel and deleted scenes.  The “gag reel” is pretty much the characters saying fuck and other various curse words.  That’s it.  They aren’t even really cracking each other up.  It is just one of those times where they put together a collection of fucks and think it is humorous because they are saying fuck.  It wasn’t much of a gag reel.  The deleted scenes were pretty good but there are only three very short scenes.  There’s a good one of Nadine sliding to the floor in school.

That’s it.  Three bonus scenes and a whole lot of fucks.  If you buy these films based on special features alone this may not be the film for you.  But if you want to own this film for its magnificent quality then I can highly recommend the Blu-Ray based on the film itself.

The Edge of Seventeen is an amazing film that teens may enjoy.  It’s more adult (thank you very daring R rating) than the normal teenager fare and because of that it just feels a bit more realistic.  I can only hope that it is soon discovered by teenagers everywhere – especially those kids who feel ostracized and alone.  They may realize that they aren’t the only ones…and there is always hope.

FILM RANK: A+

SPECIAL FEATURES: D