The Edge of Seventeen: coming of age isn’t easy

Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen is a few years old. I missed it the first time around. It’s back in the rotation on Netflix and Tubi, so I took a look. Hailee Steinfeld and Haley Lu Richardson are the stars of this teen drama about a girl dealing very badly with her outsized teen emotions.

The Edge of Seventeen begins when 7 year old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld as a teen) makes her first and only friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson as a teen).

Kyra Sedgwick and Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen

When Nadine was 13 her father died, leaving her at home with her semi-flakey mom (Kyra Sedgwick) and her big brother Darian (Blake Jenner). Nadine doesn’t get along well at home, feels alienated at school, and depends on her bestie Krista for emotional support.

Woody Harrelson in The Edge of Seventeen

Nadine frequently unloads her emotions on her long-suffering history teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson). He doesn’t know how to deal with her fly-by emotion laden visits to his desk, but he does his best.

Haley Lu Richardson in The Edge of Seventeen

The the absolute worst thing ever happens. Krista starts going out with Nadine’s brother. Nadine cannot deal with it. She’s disconnected from her only friend. She thinks her family doesn’t care about her. She doesn’t recognize that the really nice guy who sits in the desk next to her, Erwin (Hayden Szeto), has a crush on her. And she sends a wildly inappropriate text to the guy at the pet store she thinks she likes.

It all snowballs into a crazy climax that snaps Nadine into a tiny grasp on reality, something she desperately needs. Maybe she’ll manage to grow up after all.

I always enjoy Hailee Steinfeld and Haley Lu Richardson, alone or together. They were both excellent in this. Hailee Steinfeld in particular had some big emotions in a heavy arc to portray.

The Edge of Seventeen was written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. If you missed it when it came out a few years ago, consider taking a look now. It’s well done.

Spoiler alert: I can’t say I liked the ending. Nadine finding a boyfriend is the cure for everything? Nope, that didn’t work for me.

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