The Edge of Seventeen is a drama/comedy about two best friends as they struggle to navigate the complexities of high school, teenage relationships and dating.
After the death of her father a few years before the movie opens, 17-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) struggles with depression and a sense of isolation. When she finds out that her best friend, Krista (Hailey Lu Richardson), has slept with her brother Darian (Blake Jenner), Nadine feels more alone than ever.
Over time, Nadine tries to overcome her social anxiety and to handle relationships with her best friend, her ‘crush’ Nick (Alexander Calvert) and her supportive male friend Erwin (Hayden Szeto). She also develops an increasingly supportive rapport with her teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson).
Growing up; grief and loss; friendships; romance; conflict
Content that may disturb children
The Edge of Seventeen has some scenes that might disturb children in this age group:
- In a flash-back scene, a young girl sees her father having a heart attack. He eventually dies.
- A teenage girl mentions to a teacher that she plans to kill herself. This is handled in a comic way after this point.
Younger children in this age group might also find the father’s heart attack and the girl’s apparent suicide threat disturbing.
Nothing of concern
The Edge of Seventeen has some sexual references. For example, a teenage girl accidentally sends a text message with explicit content about her sexual fantasies. The content refers to sexual intercourse and oral sex. Although the girl writes the text, she doesn’t really intend to send it.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Edge of Seventeen shows some use of substances. For example:
- There are scenes of underage drinking alcohol while parents are away. Teenage characters also play various drinking games, like ‘beer pong’.
- Several characters drink to the point of intoxication and vomit as a result.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Edge of Seventeen has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A male character appears to be pressuring a girl into sexual activity by kissing and groping her in a car. This activity stops when the girl leaves.
- Two teenagers are shown in bed together partially dressed, and it is implied that the two have woken up after having sex.
- Various characters kiss.
The Edge of Seventeen has some product placement. Products and brands shown include Apple products, Honda, Coca-Cola, Converse and the TV show Futurama.
There is frequent coarse language in The Edge of Seventeen.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age movie that focuses on the personal growth and development of Nadine, a teenage girl trying to find her way in the world.
As Nadine navigates complex relationships, she learns to appreciate people’s motivations without assuming that they want to hurt her. Through her relationships with both Nick and Erwin, Nadine comes to realise that she deserves respect from others, and thus begins a process of re-evaluating her own self-esteem and self-worth. She also realises that there she could be more compassionate towards others, and she learns to take more responsibility for maintaining positive and supportive relationships.
Because of the movie’s themes, scenes of underage drinking, coarse language and sexual references, we don’t recommend The Edge of Seventeen for viewers under 15 years.
For older teenagers, the movie raises important issues that you could discuss with them, including:
- underage drinking and risk-taking behaviour
- social media and how it can hurt people
- grief and loss and how to cope with these experiences.