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.
For today’s film, I wanted to watch something that was a little different than what I was used to and it was kind of a film that I had no idea about. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl was the name of today’s film and it follows high schooler Greg (Thomas Mann), who is a little different than most kids because all he wants to do is make parodies of films with his friend Earl (RJ Cyler) and coast by high school in hopes that no one notices him. All of that is about to be turned upside down on him when his mother forces him to hang out with a girl named Rachel (Olivia Cooke) who just found out she has cancer. While he has his preconceptions about hanging out with her, Greg’s life begins to change for the better as she opens his eyes to the world around him. The film also stars Jon Bernthal (Daredevil) as Mr. McCarthy, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as Greg’s Dad, Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as Greg’s Mom, Molly Shannon (Superstar) as Denise, Matt Bennett (Victorious) as Scott Mayhew, Katherine Hughes (Men, Women, And Children) as Madison, Masem Holden (Elizabethtown) as Ill Will, and the film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (The Town That Dreaded Sundown).
The film was definitely different than most high school teen flicks than I am used to seeing because it strikes a nerve. It will definitely strike a nerve with anyone who has lost someone to cancer and the struggle that we all see them go through. Besides that, it’s also a touching story because here is a kid that knows he has to tip toe on the line when he first goes to hang out after his mom told him to. It’s also touching due to the fact that he begins to grow up before our very eyes because of how much he cares for her. He’s not willing to share anything with anyone, but she is essentially the first person that he shares his movies with. It was cool to see Jon Bernthal in the film as a very unorthodox history teacher who also helps guide Gregg and Earl along the way. Nick Offerman who is a brilliant and funny man may have a very minor role in the film, but it’s so different than what we are used to seeing him play and that is awesome. Issues like these were held back from us back in the day, but I am glad that kids are seeing it because it’s real life. The film was very artsy at times and I loved the long continuous shot in the beginning of the film that had no cuts. I thought that was a cool touch to the film and the writing was amazing as well. Check it out for yourself, it airs on HBO and it’s available everywhere online. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because I felt it deserved it.