Australian Council on Children and the Media

Edge of Seventeen, The

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Not recommended under 15 due to themes, under-age drinking, coarse language and sexual references.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Edge of Seventeen, The
  • a review of Edge of Seventeen, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 January 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to themes, under-age drinking, coarse language and sexual references.
Viewers 15 and over OK for this age group, with issues that parents may wish to discuss

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Edge of Seventeen, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references and coarse language
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Edge of Seventeen is the story of two best friends as they struggle to navigate the complex teenage social circles of high school, relationships and dating. After the death of her father a few years before the film opens, 17-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) struggles with depression and a sense of isolation. When she finds out that her best friend Krista (Hailey Lu Richardson) has slept with her brother Darian (Blake Jenner), she feels more alone than ever.

Over time, Nadine gradually works to overcome her social anxiety and to navigate relationships with Krista, crush Nick (Alexander Calvert) and supportive male friend Erwin (Hayden Szeto). She also develops an increasingly supportive rapport with her teacher Mr Bruner (Woody Harrelson).

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Growing up; grief and loss; friendships; romance; conflict

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

None of concern

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • In a flash-back scene, a young girl sees her father having a heart attack. He eventually dies.
  • A teenage girl mentions to a teacher that she plans to kill herself. This is handled in a comedic fashion after this point.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • In a flash-back scene, a young girl sees her father having a heart attack. He eventually dies.
  • A teenage girl mentions to a teacher that she plans to kill herself. This is handled in a comedic fashion after this point.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also find the father’s heart attack and the girl’s apparent suicide threat disturbing.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Product placement

There is some product placement in the film, including:

  • Apple technology products
  • Honda
  • Coca Cola
  • Converse
  • The TV show Futurama

 

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A teenage girl accidentally sends a text message with sexually explicit content regarding her sexual fantasies – this involves references to intercourse and oral sex. Although she wrote the text, she didn’t really intend to send it.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • There is a scene where one male character appears to be beginning to pressure a girl into sexual activity (kissing/groping in a car), however this stops when the girl leaves.
  • Two teenagers are shown in bed together partially dressed, and it is implied that the two have woken up after having sex.
  • Various characters are seen kissing.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There are scenes of underage drinking alcohol while parents are away. Teenage characters also play various drinking games such as ‘beer pong’.
  • Several characters drink to the point of intoxication, and vomit as a result.

Coarse language

There is frequent coarse language in this movie, including:

  • ‘fuck’/’fucking’; ‘shit’; ‘dickhead’; ‘asshole’; ‘tits’; ‘Jesus’

 

In a nutshell

The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age film that focuses on the personal growth and development of Nadine, a teenage girl trying to find her way in the world. As she navigates the complexity of relationships, she learns to appreciate people’s motivations without assuming malicious intent. Through her relationships with both Nick and Erwin, Nadine comes to realise that she is deserving of respect from others, and thus begins a process of re-evaluating her own sense of esteem and worth. She also realises that there is room for her to be more compassionate towards others, and learns to take greater responsibility for the part she plays in maintaining positive and supportive relationships.

Due to the film’s themes, scenes of underage drinking, coarse language and sexual references, the film is not recommended for viewers under 15, but it raises important issues that parents may wish to discuss with older teenagers.

Issues that parents may wish to discuss include:

  • Underage drinking, and the culture of risk-taking behaviour
  • The dangers of social media, and how it can harm individuals
  • Coping with grief and loss

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