Review: The Edge of Seventeen

**Warning: Spoilers alert!

Even though The Edge of Seventeen is a light hearted movie that explains depression, it was still heartbreaking.

Growing up Nadine had a hard time going to school and making friends. Her life was even more difficult with her brother, Darian, who was perfect and popular. After her father’s death, 17-year-old Nadine now suffers from depression. Her childhood friend Krista, who is her only friend, eventually starts dating her brother which causes her world to crumble even more.

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The Edge of Seventeen did a great job at developing characters and portraying depression in different angles.

Nadine

After the father’s death, it left Nadine and her family distressed and depressed. Nadine is witty and humorous. She is socially awkward, has a difficult time making friends, and she can make light of her depressive/suicidal thoughts, however, all the while, is very serious as well.

Her character shows what an average depressed teenager may go through. It becomes very obvious in the movie that she suffers from depression and anxiety. She can’t get up in the morning, talk to people, gets overly dramatic, and wants to be wanted (or loved).

Nadine’s character is quirky, awkward, and self-conscious, but I find her witty and hilarious throughout the movie with her funny remarks. I was just like, “WOW. That is me.” Sometimes you just have to make light of the situation in order for it to pass through, but it actually really sucks.

Nadine’s Mother

From the beginning of the film where we see Nadine’s mother trying to convince and drag Nadine out of the car in front of the school, the mother always seemed to disregard Nadine’s feelings of anxiety and depression. After the father’s death, she seems to ignore more of Nadine and her feelings while continuing to praise Darian.

Being a single mother who is depressed and having to take care of her children is an overwhelming and stressful job. The responsibility of having to take care of your children can become dreadful and unbearable when you feel as if you can’t even take care of yourself. It can get neurotic.

To better explain this and depression overall, I suggest you watch Lights Out.

Darian

Although in the beginning he is described by Nadine as popular and perfect, his story is more than meets the eye. Darian’s story is slowly revealed throughout the story through all the little hints and dialogues.

After a long night of trying to find Nadine, his story is unraveled. Darian’s image of the “perfect” child was a way to keep the mother sane and happy. He was always trying to help their mother cope, applying to colleges close to home because he was afraid of what might happen at home, and being with Krista was the only person who made him truly happy. He was trying to keep everything together while also secretly falling apart.

I personally can relate more to Darian (and a bit of Nadine). I now recall when Nadine accuses him of ‘not knowing how to love someone.’ Sometimes certain people tell me this and it makes me sad because I start to think, “Wow. Yeah, I don’t. I’m such a horrible person.” However, I KNOW that I do.

Like Darian, our ways of showing that we love someone isn’t explicit. Sometimes it’s just simply listening, trying to maintain chaos in the house, and sacrificing your future or needs for someone. Although we may not show it, we try to stay sane (and perfect even) just for the sake of our family’s or someone’s sanity and happiness.

And I applaud Darian’s story that shows this side of depression because it is so well hidden in real life that most people do not see.

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Lastly, I truly am grateful that mental illnesses are becoming more normalized. While watching this film I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am hoping for more films like this one!

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