Edge of Seventeen

Watch Edge of Seventeen

  • TV-MA
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.8  (7,063)
  • 67

The movie Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age drama which centers around a high school student named Eric Hunter, played by Chris Stafford, who is grappling with his sexuality and overall identity during the summer of 1984. Eric lives in Sandusky, Ohio, and spends most of his days hanging out with his best friend Maggie, played by Tina Holmes, and dreaming about his crush, Rod, played by Andersen Gabrych.

As the plot unfolds, Eric deals with a number of conflicts that are typical of adolescence: he struggles to define his identity in a world that doesn't fully accept his sexuality; he faces criticisms from his father and stepmother for preferring the art world over football; and he navigates the complexities of his relationship with Rod, who is himself reluctant to come out.

Throughout the movie, Eric and Maggie support each other through the challenges of growing up. Maggie is a central character in the film, as she provides Eric with a safe space to be himself and process his feelings. The two friends spend countless hours bonding over their shared interests: they listen to music, attend art shows, and hang out with a group of quirky misfits who offer a sense of community and belonging.

Although the film deals specifically with Eric's struggle to come out, it also touches on broader themes of adolescent alienation and the search for meaning. As Eric navigates his relationship with Rod, he is forced to confront societal pressures that demand he fit into heteronormative ideals. Meanwhile, he deals with the insecurity that comes with being a teenager: he feels lost in the face of an uncertain future and struggles to make sense of his place in the world.

What sets Edge of Seventeen apart from other coming-of-age stories is its honest portrayal of queer adolescence in the 1980s. The film unflinchingly tackles the difficulties that came along with being gay at a time when acceptance was scarce. The movie does not shy away from showing the real-world consequences of homophobia, whether it be the torment that Eric suffers at the hands of the school bully or the fear that Rod deals with when considering coming out to his family. The movie's set design and costume give a retro feel to the whole film which serves well in delivering the vibrant mood of 80's.

The movie's thoughtful writing and nuanced performances create a compelling character study of Eric and those around him. Chris Stafford's portrayal of Eric is moving in its rawness - he portrays Eric's pain and joy with equal intensity, bringing depth to a character that could have easily become a stereotype. Similarly, Tina Holmes' work in the role of Maggie is understated and authentic, creating a character who is relatable and empathetic.

Overall, Edge of Seventeen is an engaging film that captures both the struggles and the beauty of coming of age. With its strong portrayal of queer adolescence in the 1980s, the movie delivers an empowering message about the importance of self-acceptance and community. The score that is primarily new wave music from the era of the film's plot serves well in delivering the overall mood. The movie stands as a reminder for not so recent past of how limiting societal norms can be, especially when it comes to identity and sexuality. The film can be funny and heartbreaking at the same time but it's a moving depiction of the complicated road to self-discovery.

Edge of Seventeen is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 67.

Edge of Seventeen
Where to Watch Edge of Seventeen
Edge of Seventeen is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Edge of Seventeen for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (7,063)
  • Metascore