Are you there, God? It’s me, Nadine.

Monumental Pictures

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), the broken, beautiful heroine of The Edge of Seventeen is in a crisis, and no one likes laughing at her more than the audience. Her mouth is too fast for her mind, and she always realises it too late. She’s perpetually overthinking, sometimes mean, and pretentious in that 16 year old, I’m-not-like-the-rest-of-my-generation way. At a party, she ends up in a bathroom, hopelessly lecturing herself in the mirror over another uncontrollable infraction. “Why are you so awkward?” she says.

When I saw the film, everyone around me laughed. They laughed at her perceived lack of sensitivity, how she turns every little thing over in her mind long after everyone has moved on, that oh-so over-the-top way that she treats everything, her propensity to lecture herself in bathroom mirrors. They laughed at her awkwardness, how lost and self-destructive she was, thinking it was nothing more than a hint…

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