Flash Movie Review: The Edge of Seventeen

FOUR years attending the same school taught me more about social dynamics than any of my classes. I am not sure this applies to every school; but going into high school I was not prepared for the pecking order that was established for the student body. It could easily have been called a caste system because there were the “haves and have nots.” Within a short time one group that quickly formed were the popular kids. This class was made up of jocks, cheerleaders and anyone who the majority of students deemed beautiful or handsome. From my experience this was the alpha group.   STUDENTS with the best grades, who did not qualify for the alpha group, formed their own clan known as the “brainiacs” aka smart students. Now this group used their collective intellect to thwart the jock group as a counterbalance to their top status. This group tended to be more receptive in allowing classmates to join them. If one was not fit for either of these two groups then there was a lower status group known as the “good students.” Though not as high in status, the students in this group never got in trouble, did nothing to standout in an inappropriate way or clash with any of the other groups. Continuing down the food chain so to speak there is the group referred to as the stoners. For anyone displaying behavior associated with drunkenness or high on drugs, this was their group. They did not care about the status of the other groups, barely acknowledged them or did not care at all. There are sub groups and such but down at the bottom were the leftovers in the student body and they were considered the losers. The kids in this group had to be on guard because they could be easy targets for any of the other groups. The toughest part of this caste system was trying not to carry it with you as your time served was ending.   ALREADY not feeing connected to her fellow classmates Nadine, played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Begin Again), at least had one good friend. However that was not going to be enough considering her brother Darian, played by Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some, Glee-TV), was a star football player. This coming of age comedic drama was not like the other films that have been done in this category. With Woody Harrelson (Out of the Furnace, Now You See Me franchise) as Mr. Bruner, Kyra Sedgwick (Gamer, The Closer-TV) as Mona and Hayden Szeto (The Unbidden, Chop Shop-TV) as Erwin; this cast not only performed well together, they appeared authentic in a modern way. My experiences both helped and hindered my involvement into the story. On one hand I understood the dynamics perfectly, but then some of the scenes did not seem real to me only because I had never encountered them when I was in school. There were a couple of times that my disbelief took over which lost the scene for me. However the acting was sharp as was the script; so I was able to get back on track with the story. Having seen this movie only confirmed my belief that high school is not meant for the weak.


3 stars  



About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 1, 2016, in Dramedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Really really enjoyed this a lot, despite the predictability. Superbly acted. Great thoughts.

  2. This completely resonates with me having a 17-yo daughter who feels very much the same way. I would probably bawl my eyes out during it.

  3. Reminds me of The Summer of 42!

  4. I will have to see this. My youngest son was in the “loser” group, while his brother was a jock, but even he had to work at it. Ian was ADD and although had he not been, he would have fallen into the nerdy intellect group. Super smart.
    I was part of the cheer leading crowd even though I never truly felt I belonged. Some of them graduated with honors so they weren’t dumb by any means. I didn’t come from money and couldn’t dress as smart, but the girls were good about loaning me their last years or previously worn dresses so I could attend events. Maybe I was their charity case, who knows? They never made me feel that way though. Even so, mom would sometimes break the bank, just so I could have something new. I learned later that they were all feeling pretty much the same way. Insecure. It comes with being a kid, I guess.

    • Agree totally; insecure and each student has it fester in a different way. I will by curious to hear how you and the boys react to this film. At times I was uncomfortable based on my school history. Thank you for the comments as always.

  5. hello moviejoltz its dennis the vizsla dog hay i think my dada is planning to see this if for no other reezun then becuz of sumwun naymd stevie nicks i hav no ideea hoo stevie nicks is or wot she has to do with beeing on the edge of seventeen but he wil not eksplayn it to me he just keeps humming and singing sumthing abowt a wite winged dove!!! so weerd!!! ok bye

    • LOL, great comments my furry friend. Tell your human friend they might want to keep the song playing in their car on the way home; I hope they are not too disappointed that a Miss Stevie Nicks does not make an appearance. Once again thank you; tell your human buddy you deserve an extra treat tonight.

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