With a sophisticated script by Todd Stephens, this tender film by David Moreton tells the story of Eric (Chris Stafford), a gangly teen in Sandusky, Ohio, with a sort-of girlfriend named Maggie (Tina Holmes). But when Eric develops a taste for mixed-pattern outfits, spiky hair, and a college freshman named Rod (Andersen Gabrych), our hero starts lying—to Maggie, Mom (Stephanie McVay), and, especially, himself—and finds it difficult stop.
Set in the early ’80s, Edge of Seventeen is pure revelation, from Eric’s burgeoning sexuality (perfectly played by Stafford, with simultaneous innocence and confusion) to the pained, angry reactions of Mom and Maggie. Seldom have stock female characters like “the mom” and “the girl” been created or performed with such complexity. Lea DeLaria is both funny and moving as Angie, the bar manager who moonlights as Eric’s liquor-swilling, one-dyke support system.