The Spectacular Now – Review

Genre  Romantic, Comedy, Drama
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bob Odenkirk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler
Released on January 18, 2013(Sundance), August 2, 2013 (United States)
Duration 95 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 8/10
Channel Netflix

The Spectacular Now is like a gentle breeze into the world of teen romance movies. It’s very subtle and feels like you’re watching a classic. With it’s beautiful filmography and very believable characters. The Spectacular Now brings to the screen untidy human emotions instead of the black and white personas we see.

Most teen movies, seem to have characters who are capable of experiencing one emotion at a time. Movie makers believe and would like to belittle their audience’s intelligence by attempting to fool them into believing that teens are simply not capable of feeling a spectrum of emotions. Teen roles are too clean cut and they always end in perfection. Life isn’t like that and I understand it’s hard to show real life on screen because why would anyone watch it? Movies are made for entertainment, nobody wants to see their own misery reflected back at them. Films are meant to be a change of pace, an escape from our boring, pathetic lives.

But when films are authentic, it tends to leave you with a feeling, it could be happy or sad or inspiring or anything really. But it leaves an impression and that’s what The Spectacular Now does. It’s a movie that felt like it was trying to break free from the mold of teenage movies and by the time it ends you realize it managed to do it flawlessly.

The Spectacular Now revolves around Sutter Kelly (Miles Teller), a chaotic high school senior, who doesn’t really have any concrete plans for the future. He prefers to live in the moment. He is extremely charismatic, flirtatious but borders on self-destruction. He’s an alcoholic. All his issues seem to stem from an absent father, who late turns out to be an utter disappointment when the two finally meet.

Then, Sutter meets Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley). She’s not exactly a nerd but she’s determined to go to a good college and create a good life for herself. She’s focused. She knows what she’s doing. She’s not popular but her charm speaks volumes all by itself.  Sutter befriends Aimee, but he doesn’t really think much of it. Among his pointless attempts to get back an ex-girlfriend and drunken excursions, he and Aimee start to develop a sincere romance. Their chemistry is messy and emotions are untidy. But you can’t deny there is beauty in their cohesiveness. It feels more like a mature romance rather than a high school fling. He’s clumsy, untidy and a drunk while she’s focused, mature and sober. They are believable.

“Your gotta live in the moment” as Sutter tells us early on seems to be at the forefront of his mind in all his actions. He’s brash and doesn’t really think about consequences. But his relationship with Aimee grounds him. They strike a good balance. Between each other they’re honest. They complement each other’s personas. Aimee teaches Sutter to focus, plan, function as an adult and he teaches her how to have fun and let loose occasionally.

The Spectacular Now is a really really good movie. You’re bound to enjoy it. It’s not too explicit or too graphic.It doesn’t try to shove a sappy love story down your throat. The Spectacular Now is gentle and lets you think for yourself. I loved it, hopefully you’ll love it too.

Credit – YouTube

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