The Spectacular Now is an emotional independent film about a high-school party animal named Sutter Keeley who learns to stop living just for moments when he meets shy Aimee. The film is based off of a Tim Tharp novel of the same name and was written for the screen by the same duo that brought (500) Days of Summer to life. What makes The Spectacular Now so powerful is how realistic the relationships are. If you go in thinking it is another cliche opposites attract story, you are definitely mistaken.
It is not uncommon for a film to focus on two very different people who happen to fall in love with each other. For example, A Walk To Remember focuses on a popular and mischievous high schooler who falls for the preacher’s doting daughter. The thing that makes Spec Now stand out from films like this is that, although the characters are very different, they start out with some similarities. You also never see Sutter (Miles Teller) make fun of his new flame to his friends, like most other movies do. Yes, his intentions may start off like something you have seen before, but there is a hint of truth to his feelings for Aimee (Shailene Woodley) from the very start. The characters are never the full-on stereotypes. Aimee is a good girl who helps her family, but it does not take much to persuade her to drink, curse, and live outside her comfort zone. Teller’s character may have some problems but is not really the joke that everyone at school believes him to be. Their characters are believable because they are not so clear-cut. They could be real people.
The script writing is just phenomenal. Going in to the film without reading the novel first, you will ride a full spectrum of emotions as you watch the film. You laugh at Sutter’s voiceovers and cry as you watch him fight against the person he truly is. There are several scenes that may even give you goosebumps because they are presented in such an honest and truthful way. That being said, be warned now that the ending leaves a little up to audience interpretation. There is no clear cut finish to the film, which is both exciting and frustrating.
The Spectacular Now is a powerful film that has relatable characters. Their stories are easy to connect to because of how they are written. No one in the film is the stereotype that you expect them to be and that makes the film, well, spectacular.