27 October 2016 | fraggingrev
A breath of fresh air
I just saw an early screening of the movie at a local Cinemark in Texas. It was really good! Had a very unique and fresh feel to it.
Hailee Steinfeld did a fantastic job selling the role and coming across naturally as a seventeen year old trying to figure out life. She has a natural talent for comedic timing and she was just downright enjoyable to watch in this movie as her character Nadine. While being a immature teenager with next-to-no friends who feels like she has the worst life ever, she surprisingly has a lot of depth.
Most of her conflicts she causes herself due to her stubborn and self-loathing personality. These things along with her insecure personality make for a realistic approach to a seventeen year old constantly desiring to fit in but not possessing the social abilities to do so. She is not the most likable person but as the movie progresses she slowly starts becoming more tolerable.
Other conflicts relate to her brother Darian (Blake Jenner) who she is envious and resentful of, best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), and occasionally her mother (Kyra Sedgwick) as well. The cast great job overall and I would have to say there wasn't really any performance from this cast I did not enjoy watching.
I already mentioned that Hailee nailed her role, but it was Woody Harrelson as Nadine's teacher Mr. Bruner that completely shined in every scene he was in. I could have watched Nadine and Mr. Bruner in a classroom for the entire movie, because their comedic chemistry was such a pleasure to watch. Mr. Bruner is a cynical school teacher that is constantly being bombarded by Nadine with the drama and troubles she goes through on a frequent basis. The scenes with his character always had the theater laughing and he added a great touch to this film as her teacher.
There were only a couple of issues I had. While Nadine was an very enjoyable character to watch, it was sometimes hard to believe her situation being as bad as it was. Being played by Hailee Steinfeld, she is not exactly unattractive even without make-up. One scene when she dresses up in the movie she is downright stunning, which makes me wonder why she didn't just dress this way all the time? That is instead of complaining about how much she hated her face, voice, etc. They did a good job attempting to dress her in a way that she would not appear as attractive, but you can only do so much as Hailee is naturally attractive and this made her troubles at times unbelievable.
There would be several scenes in the movie where she would be unable to relate or socialize with others, such as at a party. She would state on several occasions that she hated how insecure she was and hated several of her characteristics, but then scenes later had no issue going swimming alone with a boy for several hours and not appearing socially awkward in the least. These inconsistencies made it a bit hard to narrow down her personality but it did not take away from the entertainment value of the movie.
Overall I really enjoyed the movie and believe it was very well done. Nothing too serious but definitely a breath of fresh air in this type of genre.