My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, November 24

The Edge of Seventeen

I’m not sure what to say about The Edge of Seventeen, the recent movie about the angst of adolescence. I wasn’t particularly fond of that age when I was there. I loved the performance of Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine, the friendless teen, still on the edge, not quite there. I especially loved the performance of Woody Harrelson as her care-less, caring history teacher.
I wasn’t fond of Kyra Sedgwick’s role as Nadine’s mother. She had enough hair on her head to make a hibernating bear proud. Two things I need to get out of the way: these teen/high school films always seem to show high school as much more awkward and painful than I remember it; and they always seem to depict an America as much more affluent than we really are. Anyone from a foreign country watching them must assume that we’re all wealthy beyond a foreigner’s dreams. We’re not. Just ask all the Trump supporters. Back to the movie. Seventeen, or pre-seventeen as the title suggests, can be awkward and painful as we all try to discover who we are, what we want, what we need. God, growing up can be so awkward and painful unless we’re one of the lucky ones in the non-descript middle ground. But middle-groundedness wouldn’t make for an angsty plot. Nadine has only one friend (even though she seems to be an intelligent, lovely young woman), her bestie from second grade on up, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson). Her other best friend, her father, dies of a heart attack when driving the 13-year-old Nadine home from school, and her life will never be the same again. Or so she thinks. But when her perfect older brother (“perfect” is Nadine’s assessment) begins dating Krista, she feels betrayed by both her brother and her best friend. Oh, wahhh! She almost totally ignores Erwin, who so obviously has a crush on her, in favor of Nick, the sleazy senior hottie she thinks she could win by sexually gobbling him up. She'd like to do it in the fish section of Petland where Nick works. She even accidentally sends him a provocative text telling him what she'd like to do to him. It's a funny but painful examination of that time of life when we all think it will never end and we will never find true love. The funniest scenes are between Nadine and Mr. Bruner, who tolerates her frequent interruptions during lunch hour and even tells her he likes her. In one scene, Nadine has fallen asleep in his history class and Mr. Bruner, after the class has left, wakes her up, telling her she's just had brain surgery . . . to make her pleasant and agreeable. Even if your adolescence was painless, this is a movie you may not identify with but will still find entertainingly funny. Four out of five stars.
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