Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr is a weekly Canadian podcast about young adult literature, their film and television adaptations, and everything in between. Now in its sixth season, the podcast—hosted by film critic Joe Lipsett and English professor Brenna Clarke-Gray—aims to highlight the cultural worth of young adult and middle-grade texts, with a focus on Canadian, Indigenous and minority creatives and stories.
Join us weekly for deep dives, as well as a round of YA BINGO.
Book 6, Chapter 19: The Edge of Seventeen
The second half of our “17” double bill concludes with Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen (2016) which finds Hailee Steinfeld playing a frustrating/unlikable social outcast. C/W: Attempted sexual assault
Plus: Why it’s important to read the film from Nadine’s perspective, the film’s cringe-y but authentic scenarios, Joe mispronouncing Kyra Sedgwick’s name, and Brenna spotting a Dawson’s Creek alum.
Read on for more about this week’s episode from co-host Joe Lipsett:
When Brenna proposed covering 17 Again, I realized it was a good excuse to do a “17” doublebill and finally get her to watch this confronting coming of age story.
I’ll confess that I didn’t like The Edge of Seventeen the first time I watched it. Fremon Craig, who directed last year’s superb Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, has crafted a really challenging heroine, but the character feels so authentically frustrating, I think it actually strengthens the film.
Ultimately audiences who can’t stand unlikable protagonists will undoubtedly struggle with this film, but this episode may help folks to understand why. Who knows? Maybe some people may even find they gain a new appreciation for it! -JL