Movie Review: The Spectacular Now

Posted: September 5, 2013 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , ,

The Spectacular Now was not what I expected. The trailers are severely misleading. I expected a sweet, cute love story budding between two love sick teenagers. Instead it was I got was heart-wrenching, genuine complicated movie with two characters who are extremely different and extremely relatable.

The Spectacular Now
Directed By: James Ponsoldt
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Amy Finicky is too good for popular, likeable, but ultimately unreliable, Sutter Keely. She’s normal, smart, down to earth, and totally not Sutter’s type, but he finds himself drawn to her when she discovers him drunk on someone’s lawn. And this is where they fall in love right? They go to prom, he discovers the beauty in the world and is reformed and they live happy ever after. That’s how it ends right? No. Sutter is still reeling from a difficult break up with his girlfriend and dealing with abandonment issues from his father and being ignored by his mother. Watching him mask his pain by being charming, clever, and really an absolute nice guy is quite heartbreaking.

The dialogue is natural and the romance between Amy and Sutter is very believable. It’s slow, it’s a process. It’s him trying to be delicate with her feelings, and her coming to terms that someone she never thought would like her actually does. But then the honeymoon period is over and Sutter is forced to come head to head with his demons. He meets his with his father and comes to realize he’s exactly like his father, unreliable, flaky, and a probable alcoholic. Only he’s not, he just can’t see it.

The Spectacular Now is carried by two brilliant actors Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. Their chemistry is palpable and their dialogue natural. They speak like teenagers and act like teenagers, but they also have this ease about them. Sometimes I forgot I was even watching a movie. Kyle Chandler plays against type as Sutter’s father and his performance is frustratingly believable. There were times I wanted to reach through the screen, grab him by the shoulders and say, “You’re Coach Taylor! Stop it.”

This movie is definitely worth checking out, even though I have to tell you it’s not easy to watch. It takes you on an emotional trip, but it’s worth the watch. Not everything can be rainbows and fairytales, but there’s always a chance to turn things around.


Rating: 4 Stars




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