Edge of teen angst: Movie captures adolescent attitudes through comedy, drama

Danica Mendes

We live in an era where a majority of young adults think that the world owes them something. Teens have used methods of expressing themselves over time from passing notes in class, to Myspace, to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but teen angst remains mostly the same as time passes. The new teen dramedy film, The Edge of Seventeen, is a funny, quirky, and perceptive look at Nadine Franklin’s (Hailee Steinfeld) life during her junior year of high school. The Edge of Seventeen is one the funniest coming-of-age teen dramedy films I have seen in a long time.

The film begins with Nadine walking into school, through the halls, and arriving at Mr. Bruner’s class, the jerk teacher, where she announces her intention to kill herself/ He then interrupts her by reading his own suicide note filled with complaints about students, including Nadine. Nadine is an unpopular, smart, awkward, and funny girl who from a young age has been bullied for being different. Nadine’s father, who she is very close with, dies, and watching him die begins the spiral of her life into four years of misery, high school, sending her into depression and social anxiety. Her older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner), is the polar opposite of Nadine; he is the all-star sport hero, popular, and handsome. Her mom, Mona (Kyra Sedgwick), has never understood her daughter especially after her father’s death. However, it’s not so easy on her either after losing her husband.

When Nadine catches her best friend, Krista (Haley Richardson), and her brother together she loses it. Krista has been Nadine’s best friend and only friend since she can remember. It is the ultimate betrayal that confirms the teen angst of high schoolers. Unlike other teen movies, there isn’t a villain in this movie, like Mean Girls’ Regina George. I was excited to see this movie before it came out because I love quirky teen dramedies, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Juno, The Breakfast Club, Superbad, and Ten Things I Hate About You.

This movie is different because it’s not the typical, formulated film that audiences see every year. It’s relatable in the sense that Nadine is a high schooler battling with herself. Hailee Steinfeld does an amazing job of portraying Nadine’s teen angst that she deals with throughout the whole film. The sarcastic dry humor that Nadine brings to the film makes it relatable to how teens feel today. Haley Lu Richardson does a fantastic job playing the role of Krista that’s not only betraying the protagonist, but changing the character throughout the film. Hailee and Haley both play strong roles of in the film and did a great job working together. The message of the film is that everything gets better in the long run. It might take a while, but life will eventually iron out. Though this movie contains a lot of profanity it was overall a great teen film that I think everyone should see at least once, especially if you like dramedies like I do.