The Teenage Flick That Got It Right

Google Images- labelled for reuse

Name: The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fermon Craig
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson
Release Date: November 18, 2016

As soon as I found out that Hailee Steinfeld received a Golden Globe nomination for the movie The Edge of Seventeen, I barfed. Since when do actors from teenage flicks get nominated for elite awards? After that, I was obligated to watch the movie and find out what was amiss.

Google Images- Labelled for reuse.

Steinfeld’s acting was exceptional. Her dialogue delivery, body language, fashion, character history, and the emotions were played out uniquely. Most single people can relate to her behaviour throughout the movie. I was assured of being stuck in a teenage mind- set. Not that other so called adults are wise and mature in their twenties. A lot of the feelings we exhibit and alter over time have its origin during our adolescent years. Do not trust anyone who proclaims they do not feel the emotions of a teenager, ever.

Steinfeld’s character is devastated when she finds out that her best friend is dating her brother. The siblings have always had a ‘who’s the best’ tug of war in everything. We learn that she isn’t exactly winning at life, read puberty. They are far apart in terms of similarities, however, they share a tragedy- their father’s death. Steinfeld comes across as a closeted social butterfly. Like most of us, she wants what she does not have- a boyfriend, a cool group of friends, go to parties, and most importantly — the feeling of being needed, wanted, included and loved.

The Movie Clichés- (that I could not relate to, of course)

  • the presence of a quirky teacher with whom you can be bluntly honest, and he listens to you without being judgmental or intrusive
  • a guy in her class has a crush on her, and happens to also have has a nice body and happens to be a cute, caring and creative individual. But, the daft girl fails to notice it because she is hankering for somebody else who doesn’t even like her.

I appreciate the movie because it focused on solutions for the teenage heart that bring about hundred percent results. The plot could have very well been different; where the girl enrols in some hobby class or tries a new sport, and then, out of nowhere discovers that she is exceptionally talented in a particular field. But, that is not how reality works. Many of us are average individuals who will call it a day or say we have lived, after a scrumptious feast — burger, pizza, fries and the like. We don’t remotely qualify for ‘discovering our potential’ or ‘finding the greatness within you’. All most of us want is to be accepted and loved the way we are, to mean the world to someone. And, for most girls, this kind of gratification needs to come from a guy with whom, we will eventually want to be in a romantic relationship with.

Romance Charges Doing

Therefore, to all the people who want to turn average people into heroes, first abandon the self-actualisation baloney and support erring and learning through real life experiences. The final scene in the movie when Steinfeld’s boyfriend (the guy who has had a crush on her from the beginning) makes her a part of the conversation he is having with his friends, makes up for ages of her wanting to be loved and included. She no longer is antagonistic at the relationship her older brother and best friend share. In the end, it is as simple as that. The motivation that one receives from their partner/lover to excel in life is a functional phenomenon. The relationship may be successful or on rocky roads, but all great art comes from romantic relationships of all kinds — man-woman, woman-woman, or man-man. Romance charges art, it charges the doing of things.