Teen angst movies often cause angst of their own. Most are embarrassingly bad, major-league shallow and involve catty high school teen girls vying for the attention of a hunk. However, once in a while, one comes along that is deep, written with wit and intelligence, brilliantly acted and definitely worth the time.
It’s a perfect description of The Edge of Seventeen.
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Pitch Perfect 2) is Nadine, a fish-out-of-water high school girl with one friend. The friend falls in love with her arrogant brother. Feeling betrayed, Nadine says bye-bye to the friendship.
As the teen tragedy unfolds, whiney and insecure Nadine introduces you to funny people who she puts in some odd but quite amusing situations. The best dialogue exchanges come from Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson, who plays one of her teachers.
Steinfeld rattles off prattling lines with practiced precision. She blathers at 180 miles per hour with gusts up to 220. And it’s brilliant.
The Edge of Seventeen also introduces us to writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig, who has a bright future. While it’s aimed at teens and young adults, this one is a lot of fun for any age.
The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Blake Jenner, Haley Lu Richardson
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Pasco and Queensgate 12s, and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.