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The Spectacular Now
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…
The Good: Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are absolutely perfect in this. I can't imagine anyone else as Sutter and Aimee. They both breathe life into their characters, infusing their performances with loads of charm and personality. Their chemistry is so spot-on, I could just watch them talk all day. Two of the finest performances of the year. Wonderful supporting turns from Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Fantastic screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, the duo responsible for the 2009 indie hit (500) Days of Summer. Near-perfect balance of comedy and drama. Everything is believable and naturalistic, from the lack of makeup right down to…
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…
A compelling coming-of-age story with a somewhat relatable and heart warming story of young love and planning for the future. Teller plays his part extremely well and Woodley is as charming as ever. It felt more real and authentic than other coming of age stories due to the way the characters respond to each other and to what is happening on screen. If you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower then you will love this.
Yes more of these please.
Its been a long time since both characters in a romance picture seem to connect, engage, and react to one another in a way the makes sense. There is an awareness of who they are even if they do not how to navigate every aspect of their lives.
The only aspect that felt forced was the father's absence. The actor's all handle the scenes well, but that aspect of the story could have been introduced in a better manner.
The film does not wow with any particular aesthetic appeal in favor of providing an everyplace white people city.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Not Another Teen Drinking Movie.
Here is a lovely film about two high school seniors who look, speak and feel like real 18-year-old middle-American human beings. Do you have any idea how rare that is? They aren't crippled by irony. They aren't speeded up into cartoons. Their sex lives aren't insulted by scenes that treat them cheaply. The story requires them to make love, but it doesn't insist we see her tits. Sutter and Aimee are smart, but they make dumb mistakes. They're more confident on the outside than on the inside. They're very serious about life, although Sutter, the boy, makes an effort to conceal that.
He lives with his mom. His dad isn't in the picture. Sutter has a little buzz on most…
The Spectacular Now goes further than most coming-of-age films in that it's not afraid to make mistakes. What is usually predictable and stale is handled with tact and poise. Behind its gleaming indie film aesthetic lies a story full of intriguing characters. Clichés run rampant, however this is one journey that is worth taking.
- Beyond the Hills
- Spring Breakers
- Upstream Color
- Stories We Tell
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- The Act of Killing
- To the Wonder
- The Dirties
- The Spectacular Now
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