A kelly Craig film that certainly didn’t disappoint.
Going into the screening, I had high hopes. Anything with Woody Harellson is a must-see. The sarcastic tone he brings in most his films, brings a subtle humour that always works. Woody plays the teacher/ guidance support of the main character Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld who also can sing if you look her up). Nadine finds herself in the typical teenage situation which she full well expects including the full-scale awkwardness of finding out her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) is dating her brother, who is of course at peak popularity with his school life, named Darian(Blake Jenner).
What entails is a story of friendship and an indication of what can happen teenage years with the excitement of relationships and unexpected friendships while experiencing the social awkwardness and pressure faced as a teenager. This is something in which Hailee Steinfeld approaches perfectly, picking up a nuanced, awkward and slightly pessimistic look on life that brings out a weird humour that is different yet attractive to see on the screen.
The main plot line is of course revealed through the trailer in which her best friend ends up dating her brother while her mother seems to favour the older boy with all the achievements. However, the portrayal of the mother (Kyra Sedgwick) gives a strong feeling of sorrow in considering the loss of her husband while having to come to terms with her kids finally growing up. Hinting at many mothers emotional attachment that is hard to let go. A scene in particular in which the mother is worried about Nadine when she isn’t in the house only to receive a text quoting “I’m safe”, the reaction of the mother goes from angry to upset to acceptance and the display by Kyra was excellent throughout.
Something that also caught my idea was the way in which Kelly Craig takes the traditions of a teenage cliche movie and adds a personal touch that seems to separate it out from the others. Almost getting a personality of hers or some form of realism into a teenagers account that has often been failed before. And this was great to see. Especially when considering the feelings and emotions by a teenager often misunderstood by adults. For example, Nadine is clearly set out to have gotten on with her father more than her mother before he passed and when Nadine is brought to her mums work after refusing to go to school- an argument occurs over the predictable nature of the mothers speech in blaming Nadine. Only for her to turn around and say the words no teenager wants to hear “If you’re father was here, he wouldn’t be proud of you.” A bomb-shell no young adult admits complete destroys them inside which leads Nadine into a new discovery over her journey with love to face and friendship to make.
A great film that will surely go down as a classic. Easily watch again.