director Kelly Fremon Craig
My relationship with teen movies is currently in evolution. I now have two teenagers, a 13 year old and a 15 year old. We watch a lot of movies together with quite a wide range of subject matter, style, period, and appropriateness. I’d heard some decent things about The Edge of Seventeen and thought what the heck, let’s watch it.
Teen movies, of course, are not typically made by teens but by adults either channeling their own experience and identification with those years or attempting to capture a representative zeitgeist of the present. Writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig falls into the latter category here because this is a present day world for lead teen Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) who weirdly isn’t on “the edge of seventeen” but is already seventeen in the film.
She’s a social outsider with one good friend (Krista, played by Haley Lu Richardson) who falls for her brother, hunk Darian (Blake Jenner), throwing Nadine’s world into tumult. She’s only got a friendly teacher played by Woody Harrelson to complain to.
Frankly, I didn’t think the film worked all that well. The last teen film that I saw that really impressed me, Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) kept coming to mind, which felt more authentic somehow.
My kids, though, both liked it. So, who knows?