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Edge of Seventeen (1998)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 April 2000 (Australia)
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A teenager copes with his sexuality on the last day of school in 1984. It shows him coping with being gay and being with friends.

Director:

David Moreton

Writer:

Todd Stephens
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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Stafford Chris Stafford ... Eric
Tina Holmes ... Maggie
Andersen Gabrych Andersen Gabrych ... Rod
Stephanie McVay Stephanie McVay ... Mom
Lea DeLaria ... Angie
John Eby John Eby ... Dad
Antonio Carriero Antonio Carriero ... Andy
Jason Lockhart ... Steve (as Jason Scheingross)
Tony Maietta Tony Maietta ... Gregg
Jeff Fryer ... Jonathan
Kevin Joseph Kelly Kevin Joseph Kelly ... Chuckie (as Kevin J. Kelly)
Mark Gates Mark Gates ... Foodtown
Stevie Reese Desmond ... Ruby Rogers
Barbie Marie Barbie Marie ... Frieda
Craig H. Shepherd ... Irate Customer (as Craig Shepherd)
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Storyline

A gay teen finds out who he is and what he wants, who his friends are, and who loves him, in this autobiographical tale set in middle America in the 1980s. Growing up, learning about life, love, sex, friends, and lovers. Written by Matthew Fillmore <MFillmore@Pensive.Org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

friend | gay | teenager | sex | 1980s | See All (132) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Picture This! Entertainment

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 2000 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Aos 17 Anos See more »

Filming Locations:

Sandusky, Ohio, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,302, 2 May 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$870,751, 30 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While part of the film was set at The Ohio State University, a portion of the filming was completed at Oberlin College. See more »

Goofs

During the "real date" scene, Rod goes in to buy cheese fries, and you can see through the car and can tell it's backed into the parking spot. However, when they are leaving, they back out of it. See more »

Quotes

drag queen: to Jonathan as he runs out of bar looking for Eric: Come in and have a cocktail with me, sweetie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Delaria is seen still on stage after the credits briefly telling the audience to "go home." See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Another Gay Movie (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Smalltown Boy
Written by Steve Bronski (as Steven Bronski), Larry Steinbachek (as Lawrence Cole) and Jimmy Somerville
Performed by Bronski Beat
Published by Bronski Music Ltd./Warner-Chappell Music, Inc./J. Sommerville Publ. Designee/EMI Virgin Music,
Inc.
Courtesy of London Records 90 Limited
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Honest, satisfying coming-of-age tale
2 May 1999 | by GrammarCubSee all my reviews

I didn't cry. Not once during the outstanding film "Edge of Seventeen" was I even tempted - and that is one of the film's main strengths. Director David Moreton has given us an honest, completely believable story about a young man named Eric (Chris Stafford), still seventeen years old and in high school. Eric has a best friend, Maggie (Tina Holmes) and they do everything together - even getting a job at a local amusement park in the restaurant. One of Eric's co-workers is an unabashedly gay college student by the name of Rod (Anderson Gabrych), who immediately comes on to him. Eric, confused by his sexuality, finally succumbs to his urges and believes he's met the love of his life.

Like "Beautiful Thing," a British movie exploring the coming of age and coming out of young gay men, "Edge of Seventeen" features strong performances by its young actors in difficult roles. Tina Holmes, playing Maggie, reminds me of a good friend I once had during my coming out process. Chris Stafford, a dead ringer for David Bowie, is so utterly convincing in his role that I empathize with him completely. I think we were all once Eric, torn between our desire to please our parents and friends, and our need to be completely honest with ourselves. Eric experiments with many things - hairstyles, clothing (at one point he looks like Boy George), the local gay bar - conveniently run by Lea DeLaria, the supervisor at his summer job.

DeLaria, playing Angie, provides both comic relief and good advice in a sympathetic, no-nonsense character that made me wish for a mentor like her. Someone who was older, gay, and willing to listen so that I could vent my frustrations without having to feel scared or apologetic. Like all the characters in screenwriter Todd Stephens' script, Angie is both intellectually and emotionally honest, never resorting to cheap shenanigans or pointless mugging to get a laugh.

The comedy in "Seventeen" is true - and so is the drama. Nothing seems forced or contrived here; the situation is all too familiar for that. When Eric finally tells his mother he's gay, she simply says, "I know" and gives him a big hug. Her next reaction, that of "Where did I go wrong?" is one that so many mothers have voiced and acted upon; our hearts all go out to her.

I said earlier that one of the main strengths of "Edge of Seventeen" is that it never made me want to cry. For a movie that touches upon so many personal subjects - coming out, coming of age, loss of innocence - cheap sentimentality is a very easy route to go. By never resorting to this type of stunt, "Edge of Seventeen" becomes an elegant, moving tribute to one young man's personal odyssey. This film is an absolute must-see and is destined to stand up with "Beautiful Thing" and "Lilies" as classics of gay cinema.


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