The Spectacular Now (2013)

The Spectacular Now movie review
Photo Credit: The Spectacular Now / A24
Sutter is the toast of the town with very few people following his parade. His smooth talking and laid-back personality make him popular with high-school sweethearts. For a highschooler in a small town, he has the world at his feet and all the charm in the world to go where he would dare tread. But Sutter believes in living for the here and now, and his penchant for alcohol has him holding ties to a relationship with his abandoned father and his old days as a jock.

His friendship and subsequent romance with Aimee Finicky begins when Sutter accidentally ends up on a random front lawn she is passing during her paper route. It's one that you never really know if they are right for each other. Sutter has no strings attached to being with Aimee, in fact, she sorta seems like a rebound from his popular blond girlfriend Cassidy. Aimee does well in school, helps her mom with her family owned paper route, and is curious enough about the world around her to try new things and not hide away from experiences. Like Sutter, she doesn't see too much of her life outside of their small town almost fearing her dreams will cause unruliness with her mother.

After building up walls of not realizing the type of love they deserve, Sutter and Aimee become a heartbreaking example of young love trying to save each other. He encourages her to summon up the courage to leave this small town behind and go to school out of state.  Aimee having never really experienced love from any male figure in her life falls for Sutters' charms and soon his way of life - secretly drinking and floating through the present. With her hopeful heart, she encourages him to track his abandoned father - which as you may guess causes more harm than healing. Both of these characters wear a lot of scars on their hearts, and making each other come alive is how they each unlock what they need to figure about themselves and the kind of relationship they want to be in.

Mike Teller as Sutter delivers one hell of a performance for such a complicated protagonist. He's a young guy who is entirely an emotional mess. From scene to scene he carries an undercurrent of guarded failure, regret, hope, and faithfulness. Shailene Woodley delivers a quiet organic portrayal of a young girl falling in love with her boyfriend and trying to discover who she is along the way. In a siege of popular and in-demand absorption of future Hollywood legends, they both come across as actors who with a few quick glimpses can display a world of emotions. Together, they make the kind of on-screen pairing that is memorable now and for years to come.

The Spectacular Now served to me as a much-needed reminder of why I retreat to smaller genres like "indie dramas" or "Young Adult" after getting hyped up over Hollywoodized movies. They're just more honest and forthright with their storytelling and exploring all different aspects of someone's complicated life.  It's the type of movie that I think will love on far pass the nominations and hype of now - even if the story plays to the trope that a confused young man can figure out his life through the love of a good-hearted girl.

The difficulty about such a common coming of age flick is that as the audience you could read everything into the scenes or nothing at all. I chose the latter. We know where this is heading before they both do. And, it's these types of movies that you need to park your judgment and just watch it at the moment. Because all you have is the spectacular now.

Rating: ★★★
Have you seen The Spectacular Now? What did you think?

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.