The high school comedy is a dying art. While we haven’t seen a boom in the genre since John Hughes gave us Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller and Pretty in Pink (to name a few), every few years we get one that tries to define the next generation, filled with hundreds of quotable one-liners and relatable plots and characters. The 90s had Clueless and American Pie, and the early aughts have the current gold standard, Mean Girls. However, while Tina Fey’s 2004 classic may have been hard to top, there really hasn’t been an effort to reach such standards in recent years. Easy A came close, The Duff bombed, and while Perks of Being a Wallflower was a foolproof delight, it really isn’t a “quotable comedy” per se, aiming more for drama, and providing lines that are really only quoted by faux-depressed emos that think they’re smarter than they actually are. Perhaps the upcoming The Edge of Seventeen can change this trend.
Edge of Seventeen is unique because it is written and directed by a woman, specifically Kelly Fremon Craig. This might be the first true high school film to meet those criteria. Starring Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld, the film follows Nadine, a cynical and moody teenager who feels ignored by her much more popular brother (Everybody Wants Some’s Blake Jenner). When her best (and only) friend starts dating her brother, Nadine terminates their friendship, leaving her to turn to her ambivalent English teacher (Woody Harrelson).
I’m torn on this one. There’s some really funny stuff in this trailer (specifically Harrelson’s teacher, who walks away with it), but it also veers towards the super safe side. This could end up being another Duff-or worse, it could be another LOL. However, I’ll put my faith in this cast, as well as in the hands of acclaimed producer James L. Brooks and hold up hope until proven otherwise. The Edge of Seventeen comes out September 30th, you can watch the red band trailer below.