November 26, 2016

Movie Review: The Edge of Seventeen **

The Edge of Seventeen is an implausible coming-of-age story that doesn't work until the final act.
There's Nadine (Hailee Steinfield), who's supposed to be a nerdy outcast but who's too beautiful to have ever been anything other than head cheerleader or homecoming queen. But okay, if you can buy that part of the premise you might like this contrived story.
A couple more of my many problems with the story: As a seventeen year old she "accidentally" sends a pornographic text to a guy she has a crush on (there's no believable lead-up to this crush, no chemistry, and this guy is such a drip that one has to wonder what she sees in him), and when he texts her back to ask if she wants to hang out she thinks he really just wants to get to know her. He does, of course, but not the way she hoped.
And after she finally understands what he's after (duh...) she gets out of the car and runs away, only to call her teacher (Woody Harrelson as a curmudgeon in another unbelievable relationship) who comes to get her. Nice, right? How does she have his private phone number? But, whatever, he picks her up and takes her to his house. WHAT??? He takes her to his house? In what world would he not be arrested? And why didn't he just take her home?
But up until this point we're led to believe that he's single, making his actions even sleazier, so this scene is contrived to show us that voila! he's a family man with a lovely wife (what does she possibly see in him?) and baby.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Nadine's house which of course isn't a ranch) there's the stereotypical neglectful mom (Kyra Sedgewick) and the older brother who's the golden boy, who Nadine has never gotten along with.
Spoiler alert: In the final act everyone's happy, with themselves and each other. Sweet, but not sweet enough to sit through the other 45 minutes.
Two stars out of five for The Edge of Seventeen.

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