“The Spectacular Now” swaps storytelling truisms for the natural beat of life and thanks to outstanding performances from Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, that results in an exceptionally raw and poignant experience.
Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) isn’t a star athlete or class president, but he’s loved by all for being the life of every party. With his equally adored girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) by his side, Sutter is unstoppable. That is until Cassidy dumps him. After drowning his sorrows in alcohol, Sutter wakes up outside, in the middle of someone’s lawn with absolutely no recollection of where he left his car. It could have been all downhill from there, but fortunately for Sutter, there is a silver lining to this episode, and that silver lining is Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley).
We’ve seen popular guys abandon all high school social standards to date the quiet, nice girl, but what makes “The Spectacular Now” stand out is that this time, you believe it. Sutter isn’t embarking on some grand adventure that climaxes with an unforgettable senior prom, rather he’s simply living life for a stretch of time as anyone might. The outcome is a film with varying stakes, emotions, and pacing, and also one with a strong backbone of impeccable character development and performances, making it extremely genuine.
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