After suddenly breaking up with his girlfriend, a popular senior stumbles into a relationship with a lesser known girl at his high school. The two teens help each other learn the advantages, struggles, and the dangers of living exclusively in the present in The Spectacular Now.
I watched this movie because I had heard great things about it from a lot of different people. People were saying it was different, fresh, and a nice spin on the romantic genre. I wouldn't say this was a bad movie, but it was definitely not something we haven't seen before.
The main character of Sutter (Miles Teller) is an extremely typical character. He is the life of every party but is struggling underneath his facade with alcohol and internal pain. Because that's not typical at all. He winds up falling for this girl Aimee (Shailene Woodley) by complete accident and winds up using his own problems to sabotage their relationship after a short time. Again, it's been done. On the way to the end of the film you see Aimee evolve and mold herself to Sutter because she loves him and wants to be what he is used to, but Sutter is more determined to "live in the now" and not let the boundaries of the future tie him down. Yes, that is despite the great thing he has going with this girl.
The point I am making with this is despite what I heard about this movie, it is yet another typical teen romance film. It does have high points but they are nowhere near the amount of typical, expected moments this movie is full of. As far as acting goes this basically solidified my annoyance with Miles Teller. I just find him very annoying and I don't understand why he was cast in this movie. He had no chemistry with Shailene Woodley at all. Speaking of Woodley, I thought she was probably the best part of this movie. She played unassuming and shy quite well.
In terms of character I think this was the weakest aspect. You get the backstory of these characters, but not enough to make it feel relevant. It's almost like Sutter was with Aimee just to have someone to hang out with. There was a lack of chemistry and an overall lack of want between these two characters. It was very one-sided. Sutter is very selfish and constantly treats Aimee like a backup plan. Not to mention he is almost always under the influence of alcohol and she desperately adopts that lifestyle because she knows that's how he is. She was supposed to be a smart kid and came off desperate. He was supposed to be a loveable, popular kid and came off as a drunken douchebag.
The ending was probably the worst part of it because it seems like they skipped over a solid 2-3 months of time and then threw you back into the story. You don't know what happened between these people that got them to that point, you don't understand how these characters evolved... you just are left empty at the end.
Again, not a total loss but don't go in expecting anything spectacular (no pun intended). The Spectacular Now is yet another badly cast teen romance drama. It's a shame given the hype this movie got among critics. If you have a choice, (500) Days of Summer was a lot more satisfying.
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