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."
Life changes drastically for a person who loses a loved one. Be it parting by way of death or separation, from a lover, a soul mate or from a parent, it is a loss that is irrevocable and has a telling effect on the person's perception of life, of the people around him and most importantly his approach and interpretation of love itself. The potency of the consequence that losing in love brings to a person can be evaluated based on when it happens in a person's life time. Fortunately or unfortunately if it occurs at a very young age, time and memory heal the scars very soon. If it occurs at middle or old age, the efficacy of the…
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…
The Spectacular Now gets it. It gets the heartbreak, it gets the disillusion, it gets the lifestyle, it gets the emotion, it gets the tragedy; wonderfully honest, beautiful, and unbearably tragic, The Spectacular Now is one of the finest films ever made about 'teenagers.'
However, this isn't a surface level teen movie. Sure, there's a prom scene and some cliche discussions, but the film is about so much more. It just feels so goddamn real in every aspect. The subtle direction, the slight use of makeup, the way the story unfolds, the screenplay; It all culminates in a work that feels raw, personal, and yet utterly engrossing.
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. Holy shit. Their chemistry is so electrifying that…
"I want - I want more than a moment. I want the future."
I turned nineteen a few days ago. I guess I know what I’m doing with my life – go to university, become something, get married – but does it ever get easier? Do you ever stop second-guessing yourself, wondering if you’re going to accomplish anything at all? Or do you always remain the same person you were when you graduated high school: scared and exultant and fully aware of the fact that yes, you have your whole fucking life ahead of you right now?
What if I waste all this time I’ve got? What if I never find anyone special, what if nobody finds me special? All…
A seemingly ordinary coming-of-age story is eschewed by James Ponsoldt’s sensitive, astute story of teenagers in distress. Propelled by tremendous performances from its cast, the film becomes easily approachable and affecting which is quite appreciative. The film centers on Sutter Keely (played sensitively by Miles Teller), a typical laid-back high school student who has some personal crisis of his own. Loss has become the primary theme of the film, and Ponsoldt meticulously showed the pain and consequences of it to his characters. A great thing about the film is that when the events and the characters are seemingly going melodramatic, the film avoids it and breaks it.
As I’ve said, the film features a phenomenal acting. From Miles Teller to…
I'm so glad I finally watched this. A beautiful film, with a beautiful relationship, it stays away from all the horrible traits we have in many romance films and makes itself very interesting and enjoyable. Really loved this film.
There's no preciousness, no false emotional notes, no unbelievable plot twists. Just a steady build to a crucial confrontation which had me intensely examining each character's words and reactions, followed by a downward spiral that ultimately brings everything into focus.
This is among the most realistic portrayals of teenagers I've ever seen on film; not only due to the electric chemistry between Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley but also the incredibly naturalistic dialogue.
The more I think about the ending, the more satisfying it becomes, especially taking into account all the predictable ways the story could have been resolved. I'm so grateful when a movie doesn't wear out its welcome.
In all honesty I've never felt connected to or moved by or related to stories of manliness or the "male experience", because usually it's about some delusional Hemingway-esque sense of the lovable immaculate drunk and his deeply passionate heart that he just can't dare to share for fearing that it will be shattered. It's all just too paradoxically Freudian.
Honestly, in most settings, the "female experience" is about climbing up and out of terrible situations and wondering if you need to fit-in or you need to carve-out your own new world order, or why can't you have both.
And yet, really, they aren't so diametric, so male/female, but about the fears and anxieties and concerns and…
"This is the youngest that we're ever gonna be, this is our time, live in the now."
Coming of age genre is my real issue! I've been searching for this kind of genre and found just some..., and this one is terrifyingly good. The good, innocent girl dating bad boy with no-future thoughts is such a plot for me, and I enjoy how the chemistry developed through their own misery from each family. The premise about `now` is no joke. 4/5 because I like it that way.
You might not notice how wise and deeply felt The Spectacular Now is until you watch it for the second time; upon first viewing, it presents itself so naturally and self-effacingly that it feels not like a movie but like a recollection of something that happened to someone you know well.
Beneath an adorable romance lays a tremendously insightful character study filled with tightly constructed roles.
In a time of life when everyone is looking forward to formally begin their own lives and move out of the shadow of their parents, Sutter Keely isn't. In his own words, he simply lives in the now, just wanting to have a good time and be around people that make him forget all the problems that may exist around him. He actually wants to be that person that reminds how appreciative anybody in that particuarly phase of life should be. He just doesn't wanna grow up because he fears what's ahead of him.
In that manner, he's an encapsulation of adolescence. An unstable transition,…
The Spectacular Now is a coming of age type film that leans more towards being a drama than a comedy. Our main character, Sutter (Miles Teller) is a popular, fun loving guy who lives in the moment and doesn’t plan for the future. His whirlwind romance with Cassidy (Brie Larson) comes to an end and when Sutter meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley) his outlook on life starts to change.
Hopefully I’ve summed that plot up okay without butchering it! This is what I thought was a twist on the classic ‘Jock goes out with Nerd as a dare and ends up falling in love’ plot but ended up having much more depth than that. Sutter is one of the popular kids,…
The OK-tacular then.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Over two days, my "Movies To See" list is unspooling on The Dissolve. Here's your chance to check them off,…