The Edge Of Seventeen

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Budget: $9million

Let’s get the obvious out of the way here; I’m fairly certain I’m not the target audience for this film (a feeling which was confirmed by the cinema being almost entirely teenage girls), so this had an uphill battle to impress me, an uphill battle which was evened out by the release of the trailer, which was funny, slightly heartwarming, and cynical as hell, I’m glad to say the only difference between the film and the trailer is the film itself is a lot more heartwarming. It’s just as funny and cynical as you’d hope, although part of my opinion on that might be because I have a weakness for any film which has “I’m going to kill myself” as the first line.

Unlike this film, where “I want to kill myself” is the first thing said by the audience

It’s not just the cynical nature of the film that’s done well, the characters themselves are really well defined. Even when the characters do and say terrible things, you understand their motivations, even though you don’t agree with them. They are all fully fleshed out, and they all get good lines. Unpopular opinion, I tend to dislike “comedy characters” in films and sitcoms, mainly because it means the writers tend to give them all the best lines, leaving the other characters somewhat underdeveloped. That’s a problem which this film avoids, most of the characters could comfortably lead their own movie, that’s a masterful piece of scripting and the writer should be commended for that. Which is why I’m glad the writer also directed it, it’s easier to follow directors careers than writers as more emphasis is put on directors. I was surprised this was directed by the writer, although it kind of makes sense, this seems like a very personal story and they’d be nobody better to get that across than the person who wrote it. It’s more surprising that this is her first film as a director, whilst it’s not exactly full of “wow shots”, or inspiring cinematography, it’s a lot more accomplished than a first time director should be, here’s hoping she gets a chance to do more work in the future with someone elses script, will be interesting to see what she can do. I feel her best work is as a writer though, the script has some amazing pieces of dialogue that really hit home. My personal favourite being (and i’m paraphrasing here) “I just don’t want to have to live with myself for the rest of my life”.

Probably not going to get a good lead in to say this but these two worked really well together.

This film is not perfect however, a major problem is that you will feel you’ve seen it before. Within five minutes of meeting certain characters you can guess their entire story arc, you know what they’ll end up doing for the rest of the film. Despite that it’s still a very enjoyable film, it’s a bit like listening to a REALLY good cover song, whilst it’s not completely original, and you won’t be surprised by it, you still have to be impressed with how they’ve done it, and you still love it. Put it this way; I also watched Arrival this week. Probably one of the  best films I’ve seen all year, yet i still felt like THIS was the film I should write about.

Actually I take back what I said earlier; this shot is kind of beautiful it terms of colour and angles

I will admit, this is not the greatest film of the year, it’s not even in the top five if I’m honest, yet I’ll sum up my feelings about this film on this; I have a belief that everyone should have a self-care box. A box which contains dvds, books, chocolate, tea etc, basically stuff which will cheer you up when you’re at your worst. And whilst this film won’t make it into my top 10 of the year, or my favourite 100 of all time, it definitely deserves to go in the box, and that’s the best thing you can say about it.

Edge Of Glory

  • Strong performances from the cast (Special mention must go to Hailee Steinfeld, Hayden Szeto, Haley Lu Richardson and Blake Jenner. Actually all of them were really good)
  • Fantastic script.
  • Believable characters.
  • Very very funny and heartwarming.
  • Possibly one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all year.

Edge Of A Cliff, Staring Into The Abyss

  • Formulaic plot.
  • Not many memorable shots.

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