Posted on 9.17.16: “In the words of John F. Kennedy, I do not shrink from the occasional responsibility of shitting on a teen-angst dramedy — I welcome it. I was frowning and throwing my hands in the air and exhaling and checking my watch less than five minutes in. Okay, Edge became somewhat more tolerable during the last third, which is when neurotic characters in movies of this sort begin to fold and weep as they lay their emotional cards on the table. But God, that first hour. And the cliches! It poked and prodded and put me through long stretches of hell.
“As noted, Edge isn’t all torture and yes, director-writer Kelly Fremon Craig is a cut above in some respects, but with James L. Brooks producing, I wanted a kind of angsty-teen-girl Bottle Rocket. Instead I got a misery flick. Mine, I mean, more than Hailee Stenfeld‘s because of prolonged exposure to the enraged, obnoxious, take-no-prisoners personality of her character, Nadine, whom Craig probably based upon aspects of herself.
“The neurotic, obstinate and nearly friendless Nadine is suffering because (a) she’s an old soul and a secret genius (as was I during my high school years) and her classmates are too shallow to get her. Her father died some years back from a heart attack, and her frizzy-haired mom (Kyra Sedgwick) is ineffectual. On top of which Nadine’s resentment of older smooth-cat brother Darian (Everybody Wants Some‘s Blake Jenner) turns to seething hate when he falls in love with her lifelong best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) and vice versa.
“You know from the get-go that Nadine will wind up with a sweet and sensitive Korean animator guy (Hayden Szeto) who all but swoons in her presence, but the rules of these films state that Nadine first has to endure two and half acts of self-torment. At least there’s a laid-back, mellow-vibe-dispensing teacher character (played in a typical stoner-lazybones way by Woody Harrelson) serving as Nadine’s mentor and sounding board.
“Is Edge as puerile and aggressively shallow as many other teen-growing-pains films? No. But it’s predictably behaved and plotted, and grating as fuck.”