It’s Not Whatever: ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and Teen Depression

How ‘Edge of Seventeen’ spots the differences between teen angst and teen depression.

Edge of Seventeen’s Nadine is a character at war with herself. In one scene, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), nauseous from a night of binge drinking, leans over a toilet bowl. She mumbles, “I had the worst thought, I’ve got to spend the rest of my life with myself.” Usually, in teen dramas, people Nadine’s age drink at stylized house parties. Instead, writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig depicts Nadine and her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) content to be together. However, Nadine will soon be at war with herself and with Krista. Following the evening of teenage drinking, Krista begins a relationship with Nadine’s older perfect brother, Darian (Blake Jenner). In response, Nadine flirts with self-destruction as well as classmate Erwin Kim (Hayden Szeto). Edge of Seventeen has the kind of plot that can push a film into either of two categories:

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