This light hearted Dramedy will pull you in with its subtle humor along with its emotional moments as you follow Nadine through her very awkward High-School life. Personal loss and the feeling of being a “ugly-duckling” are not the only obstacles Nadine must face as things only get worse when her best friend starts dating her older brother. Now forced to deal with the challenges of High School and her personal problems alone, we find that Nadine is not the best when it comes to making choices on her own. This is where the film shines, with a wonderful mix of drama and comedy that give the story a very down to earth feel.
Written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, this movie captures the humanity of life in High School with a tone of a modern day John Hughes film. The story is slow paced at times but the performance of the leading actress Hailee Steinfeld (Nadine) is so good that you never get bored. Every scene with her weather comedic or dramatic, leaves you invested in the story and wanting more! A Oscar worthy performance, and by no means is that an exaggeration, it would be a crime if she does not get nominated at least. Aside from Hailee’s wonderful performance there are some other wonderful supporting cast members like that of Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) who plays Nadine’s best friend. Also Mona (Kyra Sedgwick) Nadine’s mother and Mr. Bruner played by the always great Woody Harrelson, who brings a nice amount of subtle humor to the film. One bad casting decision was in that of Nadine’s brother Darian (Blake Jenner) who gave a very stale performance, a missed opportunity as a bigger name could have been casted there. But again, the positives of this film over shadow the negatives.
This maybe a low budget indie film that lacks the media buzz of a widescreen release, but what it lacks in financial budget it makes up for in heart! It’s a John Hughes type movie, a coming of age story, but what it really is is a good solid film! In this “selfie taking generation” we live in, its good to get a nice story like this. It leaves you with that feeling that the days of finding a pretty girl who honestly doesn’t know she’s pretty, are not gone. Other then some pacing issues and one not so good performance, this movie is all around good. With so many positives this film is a solid 9 in my opinion!