Films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off chronicled the adolescent experience of growing up, dealing with teen angst and self-actualization while mixing in a dash of old fashioned screwball comedy which at once provides relatable laughter for the viewer while making the dramatic pills easier to swallow.
All of those undeniably come to mind when watching the directorial debut of Post Grad screenwriter Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen, a coming of age high school comedy about a socially awkward and unhappy teenage girl named Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit) whose best friend enters a relationship with her hunky older brother (Blake Jenner from Everybody Wants Some).
At first on the outset this looked like another Juno/Ghost World lovechild but as it progressed I was surprised how funny, charming, touching and well thought out this portrait of adolescent fear, anxiety and depression really was.
Sure we've seen this movie done to death, but The Edge of Seventeen provided a fresh spin on the proceedings that kept it from blending together with what came before it.
And yet it is Amy Heckerling's Fast Times at Ridgemont High that The Edge of Seventeen finds its closest antecedent in, providing at once a funny and sympathetic rom com and a decidedly darker, more explicit look at budding female sexuality in a world adorned with dumb horny males who care nothing for the heroine's plight and emotional crossroads.