I was lucky enough to see The Spectacular Now at an advance screening, and walking out, I had the unmistakable feeling that I can only describe as a "good movie buzz." You feel a little light on your feet. You're thinking not only about what you've just seen, but how it relates to you. It's a heartfelt story that distills all of the beauty, tenderness, and apocalyptic bleakness of youth into a 95 minute love story that portrays teenagers in the most honest way since the films of John Hughes. The Spectacular Now won Sundance's special jury prize for acting and within <more>
minutes, the reason for this becomes apparent. Beautiful, naturalistic performances all around. Miles Teller portrays Sutter Keely with charisma and an effervescent charm while Shailene Woodley imbues Aimee Finicky with a tender shyness that makes her character incredibly endearing. When you watch the two of them on screen together, their chemistry is not just apparent, it's intoxicating. And it's not just a movie held together by its performances. Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber have written an incredible screenplay with flawed yet likable characters you can't help but root for, and James Ponsoldt has delicately directed the script to make his best movie to date. The Spectacular Now is much more than another indie darling. It has breathed life into the "teen movie" genre by treating its characters with maturity and honesty. This is the coming of age movie of our time.
A high school romance with more emotion and truth than any other (by JustinBell4)
A high school romance between an alcoholic, party boy and a more reserved, shy, girl. This movie did an exceptional job of hitting reality. Everything about this movie was believable, and all the actors fit their roles. This movie had a similar feel in style to Ruby Sparks, in that at the heart it was a romance, but there was a lot more too it. Family drama, fear of the future, alcohol, and even friend drama were all in this, just like most teens experience.In a Q&A afterwords an audience member asked why this was such a idealistic school, and why it didn't have any bullying and the <more>
truth is, because even though those exist, most schools don't have a serious problem with it.Another audience member said they didn't recognize anyone in the movie, and that the lack of makeup made it feel more real. While the lack of makeup is true, this movie has quite the cast list.
Growing up I always had a pretty utopian view on what being a teenager in high school would be like. Once I got there, it was nothing like what I had thought, and plus we had no kids that looked like James Spader. Just because high school was not like a John Hughes film didn't make it a bad thing, I just think I would have had more fun at those schools than mine. Now a day in the perfect world is not what people want, they want something real, and in "The Spectacular Now" it feels like what being a teenager feels like today.Now being a middle-aged man this is only a guess, but <more>
it sure feels right on. Sutter Miles Teller is that guy everyone likes, you know the life if any party. Sutter is enjoying every minute of high school, great times, and a great girlfriend named Cassidy Brie Larson to top it off. Sutter also likes to drink, and not the typical teenage drinking, he goes as far as carrying a flask and even putting alcohol in anything he drinks. After Cassidy breaks up with him, Sutter drinks a little too much and ends up passed out in the front of a house, not his own. He is found by Aimee Shailene Woodley , who knows Sutter from school. Sutter starts to gather interest in Aimee, but all the while hoping to land back with the women he thinks he wants in Cassidy. Aimee has never had a boyfriend and quickly starts to fall for Sutter hard. With school ending soon, Sutter is all about the now, and has no idea what his future will hold, he never wants to grow up, because where is the fun in that? A lot of people think that their high school years were their highest point in their life. I mean you have no worries, no responsibilities, you just live life. Everything is easier, including love because how innocent everything is. Sutter and Aimee are at that point where things start to move, college and life are in front of them making them have to make choices they never had to before. Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber 500 Days of Summer from the book by Tim Tharp, the story is a real coming of age story. I know that is a bad description, but where so many coming of age stories fail, this one soars. It is all perfectly directed by James Ponsoldt Smashed , who set the movie in his home town of Athens, Georgia, and even shot the film in locations he grew up in. It all comes together by the flawless performances by Woodley and Teller who are perfect for each other on screen. I sometimes think what it would be like to grow up in this day and age, well I think I just got to see what life is like today and like this movie it looks spectacular.Brian Taylor http://the2cinemen.blogspot.com/
I found The Spectacular now to be a very refreshing movie to watch. We've all seen the coming of age high school romance blahblahblah thing before, but the film takes you where you didn't expect it to go, and that is one of the qualities that makes it a great experience.Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are fantastic, particularly Woodley. I don't know how you can't be a fan of Teller, he is his usual self in this one and adds even more depth to himself. Woodley's as real as it gets in her performance. I didn't notice it until my second viewing in terms of how natural <more>
she was, but she was terrific.Those two are already great to cast as leads, but it's always fun when the casting for anything is just all around fantastic. Tamper your expectations a bit because it's all about the leads in this one, but Coach Taylor, Bubbles, and Saul Goodman are great in the limited time they are on screen. I mean, Kyle Chandler, Andre Royo, and Bob Odenkirk.The emotional impact of this film really hit me towards the end, and certain factors are very predominant in the movie that you definitely do not expect. Without spoiling anything, I'll just say take away a lot of the laughs you were expecting, and brace yourself for the feels and a very serious tone. This may damper some who came for this because it's from the dudes who did 500 Days of Summer, but It's still very good and the movie is actually funny in the spots it wants to be.Overall, I think this is absolutely a film you want to see. Where the story goes widens the appeal of this movie by far in my opinion, so if you were just not going to see it or judged it by the trailers, don't. Give it a shot.
The Spectacular Now is a coming-of-age drama mixed with young love story about Sutter Miles Kelly, an interesting, uncynical young find who can communicate a lot of different sides to this character without coming off too fresh or overwrought who starts off obnoxious but in the way that is believable to the way that teenage boys can get obnoxious and in the wake of a failed relationship meets a good, sweet girl, Amy, and a natural relationship unfolds in their senior year of High School. While this is going on, he has a problem with alcohol - which extends to Amy - and about a past <more>
history that Sutter has to confront with a dead- beat father. The film that is very well written based on a book but having that same quality in the dialog and story turns that speaks to their intelligence at navigating conventions without being show-offy, and performances that feel raw and sensitive and try to avoid a lot of clichés or that Hollywood way of showing teenagers "like we think they are" as opposed to how they are closer to life , and a strong dramatic story about young love and overcoming the flaws in yourself. It's not perfect, and has a few little things with the alcohol element to the film that irked me which is much bigger than what you may realize seeing the trailer, much more actually, it's really a companion piece with this director's previous movie Smashed which is also about boozing , but its real and honest and that's so rare to find in a teenage story like this. Woodley has a long career ahead of her, and has that great distinction of being naturally pretty, dramatically intuitive, and yet is not SO pretty that you can't accept her as a cute teenager girl or... dare I say Mary Jane in the next Spiderman movie? Go see it - it's not top 10 of the year great, but it's great in the ways that matter for a story like this.
I am so glad I caught a screening of this film because I will definitely be seeing it again after it's wide release.From the writers of 500 Days of Summer, which we all know wasn't just your average love story, comes a seemingly average love story in The Spectacular Now. But it isn't very average, and that's the beauty of it. The story observed here carries a genuine believability to it that allows a gushy teenage girl who searches for the perfect love story to be able to relate to the film in a way that isn't as unrealistic as some other popular romance films. That's <more>
just what romantic films are right? Another relationship you wish you had? Not exactly the case here. Don't get me wrong, that is what this film is, but it really is much more than that. This film not only portrays an enviable romantic relationship between boy and girl, but also a relationship between man and life, man and the world, man and the now, and that's what allows it to be so powerful.The acting across the board is great. I have found that movies like this that have relatively undiscovered actors and actresses as the lead roles allow for a good connection from the audience to the story, especially when the story is a good one like it is here.Live in the now, because there's no way to know you're in the good ole' days until you've left them. And yes, I did steal that from The Office.8/10EDIT: Saw it a second time with a Q&A with Miles Teller after the film. Got to talk to him about 21 & Over real quick and he ended up talking a lot about how The Spectacular Now was somewhat rushed, shot in only 25 days and the most of the actors had met only minutes before shooting some intimate, emotional scenes such as the scenes with Sutter and his mother and father. Apparently the first words Kyle Chandler ever said to Miles were in character with the camera rolling. Also, *possible spoiler* but apparently the scene with Sutter and Amy's first bond moment at the party by the pond was a 5 minute rolling shot with the camera man holding a simple 35mm walking backwards, and at the end of the scene the camera man fell and they kept the "arsty" shaky shot of the sky in the film. He was a really cool guy and was very humble and just pretty normal. Told me that filming 21 & Over was a "sh*t fest" and I said "must've been fun though!" he laughed and said "a fun, fun sh*t fest bro."Really cool guy.
A rare worthy entry into teen Dramedy genre (by ferguson-6)
Greetings again from the darkness. Coming-of-age teen dramas with a comedic flair that speak to that tumultuous period of life are rarely worthy of discussion. The exceptions hover film greatness: Rebel Without a Cause, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, The Breakfast Club, and Say Anything ... Along comes young director James Ponsoldt and his adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel. While not perfect and falling just short of the level of those classics, it is nonetheless a welcome addition and quite interesting.It's tempting to call Sutter played by up-and-comer Miles Teller <more>
a happy-go-lucky kid. He's the frat boy type - quick with a quip, smooth with the parents and girls, and the envy of the masses. That term would be misapplied to a kid who not only is never without his flask, but also gives them as gifts. He uses his wit and booze to dull the pain of his aimless existence. We see his lackadaisical efforts at completing a college admission form, and it's used as a plot device to track Sutter's progression through the film.Brie Larson is terrific as Sutter's perfect match ... right up until she decides that his philosophy of living in the now even spectacularly doesn't leave hope for much of a future. After an extreme night of drinking and partying, Sutter gets awakened while laying in a neighbor's front yard. Shailene Woodley The Descendants is Aimee Finicky who recognizes the popular Sutter, even though he has no idea who she is. Slowly, the two connect on a level previously unknown to either ... some good, some not so wise just like real teenagers .This couple of opposites learn much from each other, and soon enough, Sutter is confronting his long last father Kyle Chandler . No real surprises what he discovers, but it's a life lesson that must be learned. Sutter seeks more from his remaining family - a big sister Mary Elizabeth Winstead who escaped the grind, and a workaholic mom Jennifer Jason Leigh doing her best to provide hope for Sutter.The script is co-written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber who also wrote 500 Days of Summer. John Hughes and Cameron Crowe proved they could present teen dilemmas in an entertaining way, and this one follows the same structure. This is a dialogue-heavy story as Sutter and Aimee struggle alone and together to figure out life's next steps.I will say that for the first few minutes of the movie, I found Sutter to be the kind of guy that I would typically have no interest in. Tip of the cap to the filmmakers and Miles Teller for turning that around. It should also be noted that Shailene Woodley is so naturally affecting, that her character never comes across as anything but sincere. Given the state of today's mainstream coming of age stories, this one definitely deserves a look and could gather some attention come awards time.
I wanted to see this film to soothe my wife. She usually loves adolescent romance stuff, so I thought I would suffer through it. Instead, I ended up liking it more than she did.The thing about romance films and adolescence films in particular is that the kids are presented like complete idiots, like aliens from the planet Dumb. In order to keep up with this superficial image all other characters must act the same. The result is a complete fake.The Spectacular Now is nothing like that. From the start it portrays teens as complex, intelligent, troubled about their past and their future, maybe <more>
laid back alcoholics or chronically shy or overachievers with low self esteem. And they all interact like human beings. It's a joy to see a film like this.I also loved that they didn't use the cheap tricks of romance movies in general. No evil adversary to define the character as good, no ultimate goal to direct the entire film from point A to point B, no artificial accidents or catastrophes to move people out of their stupor, no highschool cliques, no Facebook or Twitter dramas. Instead, normal people doing normal stuff, trying to get over themselves and have a happy life.The film was not without its flaws. It was a little too slow, for once. It only lasted an hour and a half but it felt like more. Also there is a somewhat seamless jump of a few years that takes the viewer by surprise I still don't know when it happened . Also, I am a bit grumpy today, the film probably deserved a 9. Go watch it!
But, it took to the final few frames.The Spectacular Now certainly wanted to be more than it was. While interesting, well paced, well made, well acted and kept the viewer going, it was uneven at spots, unsure of itself and took way too long to teach the lesson it wanted you to know.I always love Miles Teller. He has this confidence and modesty, this humor and humble attitude with each role he takes on. He's high up and yet grounded, he's the coolest kid and still relatable. Some might see that he's the same in every role, but I disagree to a degree. He does have a bit of range and <more>
I think he'll only extend those lines with his future.Here, he plays a sexually active, hard-drinking and laid way back high schooler who gets dumped by someone he fancied more than most girls and rebounds instantly with a less popular, more down to earth, but gorgeous inside young lady.Tellet plays Sutter, someone who struggles but doesn't know why. He's confident, yet wonders how he is. He moves forward but feels stuck. Aimee, his new girlfriend, has many layers and is someone we should all know. And yet, Sutter might be plotting something, he might be messing with her, using her or he might actually need her.While the movie has the indie feel, the urge to give us what we always watch these low-key high school romances for, it felt more real and true than a lot of the same genre I've witnessed. And while I struggled to get the "higher meaning" and WOW moment throughout, it wasn't until the final couple of shots that tied it all in for me and held my smile through the credits.Give it a shot, watch it through and smile like me. It is an interesting and deeper movie than it appears on the surface * * * Final thoughts: But ..Fair warning. I've seen more drunk driving in this movie than on a full season of Cops. This is hardly ever explored or looked down upon in this movie. Honestly, I cannot believe how this is not condemned nor shown the true consequence of this needless and selfish act. If one can remember how horrible this deed is and not let these lucky characters get away without so much a scratch, i.e. understand this is fiction without real consequences, you should be able to still enjoy the film.