Review: The Spectacular Now [2013]

The Spectacular Now PosterThe Spectacular Now is a solid film and a great coming-of-age story. It’s characters feel real and while the story isn’t incredibly new, it’s engaging and entertaining.

Miles Teller plays Sutter, a high school senior who’s in love with partying, having a good time and his girlfriend Cassidy, played by Brie Larson. When Cassidy dumps him, he drinks a little too much and ends up in the front yard of meek Aimee, played by The Descendant’s Shailene Woodley. They form a friendship that quickly turns into a relationship.

Aimee couldn’t be more different than Sutter. She’s an A student, while Sutter is struggling to graduate, she’s shy and self-conscious and he’s outgoing and confident. She falls for Sutter pretty quickly and you can’t help but worry for her because you know Sutter’s feelings haven’t quite reached the same heights.

The adults in the movie are realistic and not cliche like they sometimes can be in these types of films. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Sutter’s single mother who works a lot and doesn’t notice (or possibly doesn’t know how to handle) the fact that Sutter drinks every day. Kyle Chandler plays Sutter’s estranged father and steals the scenes he’s in.

I have a feeling I’d like The Spectacular Now a bit more if The Perks of Being a Wallflower hadn’t come out last year. It was one of my favorite films of 2012 and, in my opinion, a better coming-of-age story. The Spectacular Now is still a good film, despite one or two problems. I give it a B+.

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