Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick
Release Date: February 14, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
In the vein of classic coming-of-age films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, The Edge of Seventeen is a poignant and hilarious look at what it’s like to be a teenager today. Growing up is hard, and life is no easier for Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld, Pitch Perfect 2), who is already at peak awkwardness when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson, Ravenswood) begins dating her all-star brother Darian (Blake Jenner, Glee). All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever. With the help of her reluctant sounding-board (Woody Harrelson, True Detective), she soon discovers that what feels like the end of the world may just be the beginning of growing up.
‘The Edge of Seventeen’ accompanies awkward and witty high school loner Nadine (Steinfeld) whose teenage life has been less than pleasant thus far, largely managing to get by thanks to her best, and only real friend Krista (Richardson) who always has her back. Unfortunately, once Nadine catches Krista and her popular jock-star brother Darian (Jenner) together one morning only to have the two start dating shortly thereafter, Nadine’s life suddenly goes from miserable to unbearable when her unsympathetic reaction appears it might have cost her the only friendship she had. Now, with the help of her wisecracking favorite teacher (Harrelson) looking out for her, Nadine begins to struggle in finding her place with everything continuing to change around her.
Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig and marking her directorial and feature-length writing debut, Craig does an excellent job at the helm of ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ guiding the unapologetically honest tale along beautifully, managing to truly capture the tone and teenage angst within. The film also owes a good share of the credit to the cast which is comprised of some talented folks and includes Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, Ender’s Game), Haley Lu Richardson (The Bronze, Split), Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some!, TV’s Glee), Kyra Sedgwick (Gamer, TV’s The Closer), Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games, Now You See Me), and a number more, the majority of which deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles, particularly Steinfeld who offers a fantastic performance in the lead role of Nadine.
‘The Edge of Seventeen’ is a smart, brutally honest and hilarious teenage comedy that gets to the root of that all too familiar misery of being a misunderstood teen and all of the stressful and overwhelming experiences that accompany it. Never failing to take advantage of such moments in order to achieve some clever and original laughs that even while often poking fun at the pain and misery wisely opts for taking the matters somewhat seriously at the same time, never afraid to let the emotions whirl whenever necessary. It often takes the most basic of teenage issues and manages to craft and twist them into something unique and simultaneously hilarious and heartwarming, nary missing the mark and forming together into quite the impressive overall film and easily one of the better comedies of the previous year or two. Perfectly guided by first time filmmaker Kelly Fremon Craig who does an outstanding job guiding her own script along, and her capable guidance is only further complimented by a talented cast that includes a wonderful performance from Hailee Steinfeld in the lead role. ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ is a fantastic coming of age comedy that offers the perfect balance of humor and heart and I would definitely strongly urge folks who enjoy similarly themed comedy films to make a point of giving this one a watch; it’s one of the best of the bunch for certain and up there alongside some of the memorable coming of age classics from decades prior.
Overall, ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ is a refreshingly honest, heartwarming and quite hilarious coming of age film that offers plenty of laughs and some unforgivably real moments that many folks will find easily relatable. Guided along with passionate care by first time writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig who makes a noteworthy directorial debut and boosted by a highly capable cast, it forms together into one of the superior teenage comedy films in some time. ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ earns one of my highest recommendations and I can’t possibly recommend it enough for anyone who appreciates an honest, hilarious and often quite moving teenage comedy. It’s definitely well worth the cost of a rental at the very least if you’re hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and offers a clean, sharp and detailed presentation throughout, complimented by a more than substantial bitrate and suffering no noticeable faults at any point throughout. It holds up perfectly even during the heavily populated, darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected in the slightest. Overall, this is a splendid high definition video presentation that looks wonderful and should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and occasionally fairly active audio presentation from start to finish. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the music, in addition to sending other fitting auditory elements such as crowd chatter, nature elements, and more throughout the various speakers; never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that nicely complements the overall viewing experience and delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ includes a couple of fun extras. Included on the release is a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), and a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 4 minutes combined) from the film.