The Edge of Seventeen

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Year Released: 2016
Rating: 3.0

Surly outsider Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has everything going wrong for her: she still misses her father, who passed away when she was 11, her best - and only - friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) is sleeping with her jock brother Darian (Blake Jenner) and she can't seem to lose her damn virginity (stupid pesky virginity!). There are so many lousy teen-centered movies that get churned out it's easy to become apathetic towards the genre, but this one is vibrant, refreshing and most of all honest: Nadine is difficult and depressed and makes stupid mistakes, but she has a good reason for her angst, so when she refuses to speak to Krista (who breaks the Ultimate Friend Rule ... no dating siblings) and when she sends sexual texts to a skater kid and then freaks out when his hand wanders into the Bliss Zone (what did you think he was going to do?) ... it rings true. It's nice that director Craig inserted a teacher into the narrative (Woody Harrelson) who becomes a noble father figure instead of a cretin ... he's just a married man who eats his lunch at his desk, says an inappropriate thing or two and is rather apathetic about his job (it happens, trust me).