Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Spectacular Now

Today, I saw The Spectacular Now with some friends.  While this is not the type of movie I want to re-watch a million times, it definitely had an effect on me.  I could tell that this movie is from the writers of (500) Days Of Summer, but The Spectacular Now was its own story.  The only real similarity was the filming style and, of course, the writing.

The Spectacular Now follows Sutter (Miles Teller) through his senior year of high school.  He's the typical party/slacker.  Just attractive and kind enough to pass for cool. However, he is unable to think about his future or make long term plans.  Like the title suggests, he strives to live in the now.  After a night of drinking, Sutten is awoken on a lawn by Aimee (Shailene Woodley), the shy girl with the big heart.  Quickly, Aimee falls for Sutten and sticks with him no matter what.  Suddenly, this wild child boy is in too deep with a girl who has her entire life planned out.  I know, it sounds cheesy and awful, but it is actually deeply moving tackling issues much bigger than just a first love.

The best part of this film was the natural tone.  Unlike most movies, the actors actually looked like people one would see in a high school.  There was no perfect hair, make-up, or bodies.  Along with looking like high schoolers, they spoke and acted like ones too.  The awkwardness of saying the wrong thing or sex or drinking are treated truly.  It felt so real, I was literally having flashbacks to moments that have happened in my own life.

There was also no basic plot with a beginning, middle, or end. There were unresolved issues throughout the movie and what seemed to be foreshadowing led to no conflict, just like a life.  I've begun to dislike stories because searching for plot points in your own life only leads to disappointment. Thus this movie was an accurate portrayal of real life as it didn't have a major story line. Yet, the characters were perfect.  Miles Teller nails his performance by making the audience feel empathy for Sutten.  It's amazing that Miles inhabited a character so well that I could see Sutten's desire to change yet understand why he remained stuck in the now.

While I won't be curling up for a re-watch anytime soon, I would definitely recommend this movie to any teenagers.  It is a true representation of life at this stage and it can help you to understand what drives the people around you.  I know I understand certain people at my school better now by seeing Sutten's character.  Also, the movie's message of planning for your future is also important due to the influx of movies supporting the opposite.  Everything from The Perks of Being a Wallflower to Harry Potter is about living in the moment, without thought toward your future.  Both of these ideologies are important, but just one does not provide happiness.  Here's a preview if you think you're interested!

(Update 11/30/13: I just finished reading the novel this movie was based on and I'm surprised to say that I liked the movie more.  The movie portrayed the atmosphere better and I think the changes they made with Cassidy's relationship with Sutter were appropriate.  All in all, I will watch the movie again but I won't reread the book.)

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