The Edge of Seventeen has finally and successfully filled the void that is women’s coming-of-age films. My issues with films like this, such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl are that they are so focused on boys, their relationships with their families, friends and girls (often manic pixie dream girls). Although I am a fan of this genre, I often feel its reliability for women is somewhat limited.
Seeing a story of a similar ilk from a girl’s perspective for once was refreshing. In all honesty, I was expecting to leave the cinema in annoyance at yet another ‘quirky alternative kid tackles the trials of growing up’ film. And yes, she did tackle said trials of high school, teen romance, family issues etc., but it was done in a brilliantly original way.
The film had fantastic comedic value by actually including all those really random bizarre moments in real life that coming of age films often ignore and replace with a more idealistic kind of ‘awkward’. The protagonist, Nadine, was hilarious, purely because she said what you didn’t expect her to. Although the overall plot was a rather predictable one, her character was consistently entertaining and kept you slightly unsure as to what she would do next.
"Seeing a story of a similar ilk from a girl’s perspective for once was refreshing"
Kudos for the film for so brilliantly highlighting the weird attraction people have to being ‘the only one with problems’. Unlike many films of this genre which focus on one misfit who categorically cannot be understood by anyone, The Edge of Seventeen focused on a character who didn’t seem to want to be understood by anyone, but learns throughout the film how to be dependable and relate to others.
I’d recommend the film to anyone looking for an obscure yet lighthearted comedy, intertwined with some more genuinely heartfelt messages - also to anyone wanting to feel some nostalgia for their own bizarrely awkward high school years.
More like this: Juno (2007)