Edge of Seventeen 1998 R CC

(121) IMDb 6.8/10

Set in 1984 in Sandusky, Ohio, "Edge of Seventeen" follows the coming-out of a naive 17-year-old teenager at exactly the moment when gender-bending pop stars like Boy George and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics were flaunting androgynous images. As the youth, played with a heartbreaking sweetness by Chris Stafford, goes through his first rites of gay passage (after being callously used by the slightly older boy who brings him out, he tries to retreat to heterosexuality with his closest female friend) he emerges as a poignant gay everyman. Lea DeLaria is wonderful as his butch lesbian boss at the amusement park restaurant where he meets his first boyfriend.

Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes
1 hour, 43 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director David Moreton
Starring Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes
Supporting actors Andersen Gabrych, Stephanie McVay, Lea DeLaria, John Eby, Antonio Carriero, Jason Lockhart, Tony Maietta, Jeff Fryer, Kevin Joseph Kelly, Mark Gates, Stevie Reese Desmond, Barbie Marie, Craig H. Shepherd, Doug Million, Clay Van Sickle, Jason Griffith, Jimmy Mack, Justin Leach
Studio Strand Releasing
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By ILuvFilm on June 26, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Edge of Seventeen is a wonderfully realized coming-of-age film about the one teen trauma John Hughes never touched: coming out. To start with, the soundtrack is nothing short of spectacular for 80s nostalgia enthusiasts. And the costuming is eerily authentic (rumor has it that the screenwriter ransacked his own home closet to find his 80s club duds). Passing the fact that David Morton has managed to capture the feel of a Hughes teen flick (down to the great opening credits); the performances are the high point here. Chris Stafford will steal every gay Gen-Xers heart; both because he's adorably snuggleable without being implausably beautiful, and because playing a 16-yr old from the mid-80s, he's a stand-in for all of us who WISH we'd had the guts to go after the cute blond boy from our summer job (Anderson Gabrych). Of particular note is Lea Delaria supporting turn as the dyke den-momma; who provides the best possible example for how queer adults should treat queer kids. This is a film that's full of great moments (mostly dominated by Stafford), including a "first-time" love scene that will leave you twitchy with anticipation, and a rimming scene (move over, "Queer as Folk") that will have you rolling off the couch with laughter. Best of all is the fact that for a US-made gay-teen themed film, the plot finally seems to break past the level of "Afterschool Special;" enough for me to rank it above such gay film favorites as "Beautiful Thing" and "Get Real." For American queerboys who came of age in the 80s, this is as real as it gets (or as close to what we wanted in our teen years as we'll find now.) It's a must-have for your collection.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jon Rydin on September 23, 2001
Format: DVD
Yes... it's another "coming out" movie. Luckily, this one stands out from the crowd -- thanks to great performances and an honest and sensitive portrayal.
It's 1984 in Sandusky, Ohio... 17-year-old Eric (Stafford) finishes his junior year at high school and takes a summer job serving food at the local amusement park, along with his best friend Maggie (Holmes). There he meets openly gay Rod (Gabrych), who sets Eric off on his road to realizing his budding homosexuality.
The movie does an excellent job of showing the truthful highs & lows of coming out in your teens. In Eric's discovery, he has his first and several gay sexual experiences (and mistakes that sex for love), goes to his first gay bar, silently deals with the "queer" name calling by his classmates, hides his sexuality from his family, & sleeps with and then alienates his best female friend... all while morphing from a "nerd" into an eccentric dressing, hair-dyed 80's new wave child in his attempt to become individual. The results are honest, funny, heartfelt, and displayed with an unexpected sexual candor.
The cast is absolutely fantastic. The real stand-out is Chris Stafford, who plays Eric as a sweetly naive young man without becoming sappy. Tina Holmes is great as Maggie, giving a wonderful performance of someone torn between love and then hate. Stephanie McVay plays Eric's sweet & headstrong Mom, and gives her character emotional depth (especially when Eric finally admits his homosexuality). Best of all, Lea Delaria is an absolute treat as the summer job boss and local gay bar owner that turns into the friend & tour guide we all wish we had when coming out.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "littleghost" on January 27, 2001
Format: DVD
"Edge of Seventeen" is for all of us who grew up gay in the 80's. This movie hits the bull's eye when it comes to capturing the nuances of the summer of 1984. If you remember listening to Eurythmics and the Thompson Twins and the whole "Second British Invasion," then you will relate to Eric and the soundtrack to his adolescence. The songs selected here evoke the emotions that Eric is going through: excitement, naivete, and a hint of melancholy underneath. It's surprising that this movie was made in 1999... you'd almost think it was filmed in the summer of 1984.
Eric's journey out of the closet is a sweet and unapologetic one. Granted, the plot of the hip older guy leading the ingenue into his first taste of love and loss is not new, but the actor who portrays Eric gives a performance so honest that it's hard to believe he is acting. This is someone with good eye for detail... from his Tom Bailey haircut to the lost look in his eyes when Rod disillusions him... he really gets it right. And the scene where he comes out of the closet to his mother and pleads with her ("Look at me. Look at me.") is heart-melting.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Libretio on August 22, 2000
Format: DVD

(USA - 1998)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo SR

The age-old dilemma of gay teens and the reactions of their friends and families is given another (welcome) work-out in David Moreton's refreshingly candid EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, a painfully accurate portrayal of a young guy stumbling awkwardly out of the closet and realising that the so-called 'limitless' possibilities of youth aren't so limitless after all.

Though the theme is familiar, "Edge" is distinguished by its no-frills direction, heartfelt script and, especially, an astonishingly accomplished performance by Chris Stafford. He plays Eric, a 17 year old high school student in Ohio, circa 1984, who can't begin to lay the foundations of his adult life until he's come to terms with his emerging sexuality. Intrigued by an openly gay workmate (Andersen Gabrych) at the diner where they both work after school, Eric finally plucks up the courage to explore his true self, guided by the diner's matriarchal lesbian owner (Lea DeLaria, playing substitute mother to a predominantly young cast), only to discover that people aren't always what they seem.

For such a young actor, Stafford is breathtakingly good as the teenager both excited and terrified by the strange directions in which his life is pulling him. Todd Stephens' script captures the highs and lows of first love and rejection, and Stafford plays it with just the right amount of charm and naivety.
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