The Spectacular Now
The Spectacular Now is a romantic coming-of-age film about a high school student named Sutter Keely, who leads a hedonistic life in the 'now'. He narrates the course of his senior year through the form of a college essay. The film begins with him as the class clown and charming womaniser; after breaking up from his equally fun girlfriend, he finds comfort in the company of a shy classmate, Aimee. She's reserved and insecure about her broken family, which he quickly identifies and relates to. They form an intimate relationship, of which his non-consequential lifestyle rubs off on her.
Despite the fact that he's clearly a bad influence on her, they mature together throughout the course of the year and inspire each other to face their biggest fears. For Aimee, it's standing up to her over-reliant mother and having the courage to leave her sheltered life to attend college on the east coast. For Sutter, it's finally confronting his mother about where is father is and trying to rebuild a relationship with the man that left the family without an explanation. Needless to say, things don't exactly go as planned and Sutter struggles to come to terms with his idealised memory of his father and who he really is. This causes him to push Aimee, who desperately tries to help and love him, away and steers him farther from having the courage to face his future.
While the film may seem like another generic film about adolescence and the transition from boyhood to adulthood, it didn't even feel like a rom-com or tween flick for the most part. It's beautifully acted by Miles Teller (Sutter) and Shailene Woodley (Aimee); it's perfectly reserved and honest. Their interactions feel so genuine that you're convinced you had the same awkward but sweet conversations with your high school boyfriend or girlfriend. Some scenes are poignant in a way that mature audiences would appreciate as well. There's a scene where Sutter's dad asks him to pay for the drinks that they order at a bar; the vulnerability that shows through as Sutter tries to come up with the money with Aimee to pay upon realising what kind of a man his father really is, is so heartbreaking. Many tears shed.
Definitely recommend this film; really refreshing coming-of-age drama that is relatable to people way beyond their high school years (what I was worried about). I'm also a little very in love with the male lead Miles Teller and now want to watch everything he's been and going to be in. Although the next film appears to be That Awkward Moment with Zac Efron. Not very promising but will definitely be seeing it.