A hard-partying high school senior's life gets flipped
upside down when he meets an atypical nice girl.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
Directed by James Ponsoldt
Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson,
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bob Odenkirk, Kyle Chandler
Based on the novel by Tim Tharp
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote (500) Days of Summer and then followed it up by adapting the novel, The Spectacular Now. It was a part of the first wave of A24 films to come out and I still continue to revisit nearly seven years later. It made a solid profit and it’s a big reason why A24 started off so well and has continued to do well today.
Miles Teller plays a popular senior in high school named Sutter who likes to party and takes each day as it is. Early on, he and his equally popular girlfriend break up but he doesn’t take things too seriously so he just keeps going with the flow, thinking things will fall back into place for him. It’s not so easy for Sutter as he unfolds some of his past issues and struggles to move forward when a new friend named Aimee comes into his life. Shailene Woodley plays Aimee, who flies under the radar at high school but gains Sutter's attention after running into him in a hungover state early one morning on her paper route. The two of them find some peace in one another and start talking more.
Teller and Woodley are tremendous in The Spectacular Now as a totally believable couple dealing with rough obstacles right at the end of high school. The supporting cast is top notch but those two really brought their A-game in this one. It’s Miles Teller breakout role and still one of his best as he makes you feel sadness, frustration, and joy all at the same time. The Spectacular Now is a gut punch of a film that leaves you with just the right amount of hope.