The Edge of Seventeen (2016) ***

Despite its flaws, The Edge of Seventeen is refreshing. A coming-of-age dramedy, directed and written by Kelly Fremon Craig, the film stars Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Hayden Szeto, Blake Jenner, Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick.
The Edge of Seventeen follows Nadine, first as child, and then as a teenager turning into a young woman, in an environment she finds, for the most part, hostile. While featuring a familiar coming-of-age theme, what makes this film work is a strong performance by its lead character, played by Hailee Steinfeld. It also relays, maybe moreso than some other films in the genre, that peculiar age, where the world seemed quite two-dimensional. Growing up, as the story points out, boils down to that moment when an individual finally realizes there is a bigger picture; that the universe does not turn around them. The other pleasure in The Edge of Seventeen is Woody Harrelson. Though in a supporting role, what can I say; he always delivers.
On the downside, The Edge of Seventeen's plot has very little originality. Furthermore, some characters, including and especially the mother, are so cartoonish and shallow that it takes away from the story’s credibility.
Still, The Edge of Seventeen can be a journey on memory lane for some of us, or simply a snapshot of today’s young generation. It also makes one realize that while much had changed, a lot remained the same.