Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Spectacular Now

Today I saw The Spectacular Now, starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.

Sutter (Teller) is a popular guy at his high school. He makes everyone laugh, wins over his teachers with charm and has a hot blonde girlfriend named Cassidy (Brie Larson).

He also has a drinking problem.

To every party, in every class, on every car ride, he carries a flask full of whiskey. It's with him at all times like a sad security blanket.

After Cassidy has enough of his nonsense and breaks up with him, he begins hanging out with Aimee (Woodley). She's a classmate he's ignored for years, but she agrees to tutor him since he's struggling through his math course.

They have a genuinely sweet chemistry, and soon develop feelings for one another. At first, it appears that they make each other better, but later in the story we have to wonder if she's too good for him.

As we're watching this all unfold, we do feel like we're falling in love right along with them. Their scenes are tender and realistic; their magnetism completely believable though neither of them is conventionally attractive.

Teller and Woodley do a beautiful job of conveying young love and the ease of trusting the wrong people. Jennifer Jason Leigh's brief scenes as Sutter's mother are also powerful.

Though the story doesn't say much, it speaks volumes about the painful reality of addiction. If you're in the mood for something simple, but smart, with a satisfying ending, you should make a point of getting to this spectacular indie.


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