Some of my favorite films have been the high school teen dramas (i.e. The Breakfast Club, Can’t Hardly Wait, etc.) for as long as I can remember. So, when I heard that today’s film, The Edge Of Seventeen, had a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I had to check out the film for myself. The early teens can be an awkward age for teens especially when you are trying to navigate your way through the jungle known as high school. Things have never been easy for Nadine (True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld) like it has been for her brother Darian (Everybody Wants Some‘s Blake Jenner). Now things are about to get incredibly worse for her when her best friend Krista (The Bronze‘s Haley Lu Richardson) decides to date her brother. What is Nadine to do when she has no one to turn to in her life? The film also stars Woody Harrelson (Now You See Me 2) as Mr. Bruner, Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) as Mona, Hayden Szeto (The Unbidden) as Erwin, Alexander Calvert (Scream: The TV Series) as Nick Mossman, Eric Keenleyside (Godzilla) as Tom, Nesta Cooper (Heroes Reborn) as Shannon, Lina Renna as Little Nadine, Ava Grace Cooper as Young Krista, and the film was written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig.
The film was definitely interesting to say the least and it had it’s moments of brilliance. Would I compare it to a John Hughes film? Well, probably not, but it comes pretty close in spirit. This could definitely be the film for all the awkward teens out there who feel that they don’t fit in. There can be times in the film where the moments are almost predictable like you guessed that her brother was going to hook up with her best friend and I guessed that without reading the synopsis of the film. She is just way too pretty to not go unnoticed by anyone and that would be the ultimate drama filled subplot. The best moments of the film were Nadine’s interactions with Mr. Bruner played by the excellent and the MVP of the film in Woody Harrelson. He was definitely the comedic relief of the film giving us some really cool sarcastic moments with Nadine who unknowingly thinks that she is the only one with problems. Although he is sarcastic, he always seems to be there like any teacher would be essentially in our time of need. The film is filled with all the awkward moments teens deal with in life especially in the technology age and maybe this is this generations teen flick. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed watching the film, it was well written and well acted. What else could you possibly ask for? I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I thought for a very long time that I was the only person n the whole wide world that was waiting for some sort of sequel to the 1994 Richard Linklater (Boyhood) classic Dazed And Confused. Go 22 years into the future and now we have our spiritual sequel (Linklater has stated) to the classic film in Everybody Wants Some!! which takes place in the 1980’s (or at least the beginning of the decade). The film follows incoming freshman Jake (Blake Jenner) and his ragtag baseball teammates as they navigate through the life of college and everything that comes with it like partying, sex, and anything else you can think of as it’s all unsupervised by adults. Will they survive that three day weekend before classes start or will we have some casualties along the way. The film also stars Juston Street (My All American) as Jay, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Roper, Tyler Hoechlin (Road To Perdition) as McReynolds, Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street) as Willoughby, Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises) as Finnegan, Temple Baker (Love Is Relative) as Plummer, J. Quinton Johnson as Dale, Will Brittain (A Teacher) as Beuter, Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead) as Nesbit, and Zoey Deutch (Dirty Grandpa) as Beverly.
For a while as I was watching the film, I had a hard time figuring out what the plot of the film was. Was this a film that was just about partying? Dazed And Confused had a plot to it that was easy to get while this one just seems like a movie about endless partying and gamesmanship. Then after a while, it became clear as soon as I read IMDB’s explanation. One thing is for certain with this film is that just like the first film, it has a killer soundtrack that features the likes of Foreigner, Devo, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, and so many more. The soundtrack was always a huge part of the film and they do a terrific job picking the songs once again as it mixes some disco with rock and a little country too. Another thing Linklater has a knack for when it comes these films is discovering young talent to go with the already established guys. There are a lot of guys who make their feature film debuts in this film and they do a great job. One of the true highlights for me was Juston Street who plays an absolute awesome comedic relief as a pitcher who takes himself way too seriously. Every time he appeared on screen, I was laughing my butt off and couldn’t get enough of him. I like how the film ended however cause it was kind of a nice way to end the adventure that was the film. One thing I will say is what they hell were they thinking in the 80’s when it came to their outfits and those short shorts guys wore? Anyways, I am going to give the film an A- only because it doesn’t top Dazed And Confused, but it was very enjoyable to watch.