Ever watched a film that exudes literal grey sludge? A movie so competently dull that it becomes a chore to watch. With direction that won’t amaze you and a plot you’ll have heard all before. That can only mean one thing of course, a romcom with a drama tinge and a whole host of performances that bring together the four clichés of the genre.
Cliché number one of course is the tragedy that begins the movie and leads to our character being a pretentious piece of shit for the majority, if not all of the movie. This time around, Nadine (played by the extremely talented Hailee Steinfeld), has lost her father and is struggling to come to terms with losing the most important people around her. Instead of dealing with this like a normal human bring, Nadine throws tantrums, manipulates the few people that listen to her and in general performs the most basic of tasks with minimum effort.
But that’s all to be expected, as it ties in nicely with cliché number two – the old fatherly figure who is there to fish out our protagonist from the murky depths of depression. This time that old fatherly figure is appointed to none other than Woody Harrelson, because when I think “father figure”, I think Larry Flynt and Mickey Knox. Harrelson phones in his performance about as much as you’d expect, with his limited and brief scenes throughout crashing the trajectory and pacing of the movie into a brick wall.
That’s okay though, as cliché number three allows for the breakdown of pacing – especially since we just follow along the expected formulaic style of the romcom genre. As a great poet once said; “the road most travelled is the one that’ll make a shit tonne of money.”
For the final cliché, we delve a tiny bit deeper into the supporting cast. We need to fish out the unlikely romantic interest, who try as he might can never quite get the girl – only for her to realise her upsetting mistakes. The Edge of Seventeen has chosen the delightfully two-dimensional Hayden Szeto as our romantic “interest”. It’s obvious from the start that he’d be the final love interest – and I prayed to Gods I simply don’t believe in to not let that happen.
The Edge of Seventeen is by the books, dull and contained within itself. It’s happy to simply be mediocre, and that’s exactly what it is. Nothing that will revitalise or revolutionise the genre, nor anything that will offend or displease any of the general public. A film not willing to take risks is no film at all, so exactly what is the point of The Edge of Seventeen?