Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The Spectacular Now
From the Writers of (500) Days of Summer
A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."
2013 seems to be the year of the coming of age film. First Mud, then The Kings of Summer and finally I had the pleasure of allowing the nostalgic honesty and painful recognition of The Spectacular Now wash over me. And of the three it is my favourite.
When I was about protagonist Sutter's age, life was complex and pretty tough for me. I sort of lived by an 'it's better to burn out than to fade away' mentality. At that age, not knowing where you're going isn't that big of a problem, not seeing anything worth going towards is awful. It's not that I recognised anything in Sutter's character or situation, but his plight and outlook on life and…
The best thing about now is that there's one tomorrow.
I wasn't too eager to believe that The Spectacular Now managed to capture real high school environments, characters, and most importantly, romance.
Capturing those three things seems to be something that Hollywood just can't do. With the way they clumsily and sloppily handle the lives of teens on screen you would almost think they are searching for the fucking Holy Grail. Like they are observing foreign people in a foreign land. Even some of Hollywoods best outings at capturing teen life still unfortunately succumb to stupid pitfalls and romanticization.
Teenagers aren't always special little snowflakes. They aren't always 100% self aware or junior philosophers trying to wade through people who…
Totally get why everybody I know only has positive things to say about this movie. Really nice performances by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (more on them in a sec), sensitive, solid direction by James Ponsoldt, a familiar story that somehow seems fresh and new...
So what's holding back that extra half (or full) star I'd love to tack on? I guess what lingers for me is Teller's extremely rushed epiphany and Woodley's Aimee being too much of a cypher. She may be "the film’s true lynchpin," as Scott Tobias put it, but her need for Sutter's approbation and affection -- how her will is consistently suppressed -- doesn't necessarily make her a great dramatic character, even if it all…
''If I were your father, I guess this would be the part where I give you a lecture about what you're doing with yourself.''
I had heard some rumblings about this film. They said that Miles Teller is a bright and shining beacon, Brie Larson is not in it enough and that this was going to be this years The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Those rumblings bounced me all the way to the bank here, because film charmed the absolute pants off me. Note perfect in all areas; from the razor script, the healthy array of talent dotted throughout (Larsen, Chandler and Odenkirk to name a few), in the way it brings the truth and lays it all out…
Making a teen romantic-comedy that doesn't look lusty, stupid, nasty or cliched is among the most difficult things in the world, I always approach those kind of films with caution because from the previous experiences I can guess where the things will eventually go, sadly most of the times it is only 16 year old girls who find those films “sweet” and “lovely”. But The Spectacular Now is a pleasant surprise, it never overlooks its subject, it has some of the best written characters of the year and what makes it even more engaging is its masterfully smooth transition from a typical high school rom-com to a more serious and more settled type of love story, The Spectacular Now is…
The Spectacular Now is much more than the romantic film about a teenage love story, it's a film about self-destruction. Self-destruction that ruins the life of the one who is in a destructive process but the lives of other people around.
Miles Teller plays a selfish guy, who can deeply inside can actually be a great guy but his carelessness about life and his alcohol addiction doesn't let him see the reality of what his true life is. Everybody loves him, he is popular and he can be the perfect friend for anyone but no one really knows that behind that mask he is actually a very sad person.
In my opinion both Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley might be…
This is one of the rare examples of a book’s movie being far better than the book itself. Although I still enjoyed the book and its darkness, Miles and Shailene just brought such a hopefulness and beauty to these characters that you didn’t really see in the book, while still being faithful to the story. I would go as far as to say it’s practically a perfect adaptation in my eyes. While it still breaks your heart in a million ways, it’s the kind of movie that you’ll regret going through your whole life without watching just once.
Surprisingly good. Obviously, we've gotten plenty of these high school coming-of-age stories by this point, but The Spectacular Now is honestly strong because its characters feel so compelling. Shailene Woodley is of course fantastic, one of the best up-and-coming young actors around right now, but I was really surprised by just how good Miles Teller was here. I've always thought of him as a go-to for a douche character in movies, and while he does have that quality here, there's also an underlying sadness to the character that's gradually revealed over the course of the film that Teller does a surprising job with once it comes out. The story also feels like it deals with its themes in a very…
MILES FREAKING TELLER
This movie doesn’t have the most original story ever. It’s a story about a high school senior boy, Sutter, falling for a good-girl, Aimee after a breakup. However, Sutter soon begins to think about his life and what his future has in store for him because of Aimee. However, what makes his movie so original and fantastic is how the story is written and acted very honest and true to real life. I loved “500 Days of Summer”, so instantly I was hooked to the script. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley did an incredible job in this beautiful movie. I highly recommended it. Grade: B+
My fourth watch & still adore this film. The young leads, Teller and Woodley, are exceptional & deliver amazingly nuanced and detailed performances as Sutter, a cocky but likeable troubled teen and Aimee, a delicate, naive 'geek'. Adolescence and young love are portrayed here with such accuracy and conviction that it manages to resonate with both a teen audience (I assume!) and a significantly more mature viewer, like myself (though that could just be the alcohol dependency & absentee loser dad themes! *joke).
With sly humor and an intensity of feeling, THE SPECTACULAR NOW (directed by James Ponsoldt) creates a vivid, three-dimensional portrait of youth confronting the funny, thrilling and perilous business of modern love and adulthood. This is the tale of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a high school senior and effortless charmer, and of how he unexpectedly falls in love with "the good girl" Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley). What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth - one that doesn't look for tidy truths. The film was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber (500) DAYS OF SUMMER and also features wonderful supporting turns from Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Film is a wonderful medium for so many reasons and one of those that makes it resonate so strongly with me is its ability to act as a mirror and illuminate our past selves for introspection in the present. Sometimes you need an external force to stimulate long forgotten memories, and if said force is as whole-hearted in its intentions as The Spectacular Now is, then the process of self-reflection does nothing but help you understand where you currently are and how you got there.
I'm thankful that I got to see this only three years out of high school, as I'm sure the film's effect varies depending on your age. It was scary how many of these scenes took…
Some seriously excellent directing and acting.
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- Beyond the Hills
- Spring Breakers
- Upstream Color
- Stories We Tell
Over two days, my "Movies To See" list is unspooling on The Dissolve. Here's your chance to check them off,…
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
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- The Breakfast Club
- American Pie
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…