Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now by James Ponsoldt

After reading The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp last year, I baaadly wanted to see the James Ponsoldt adaptation. So I went to work, carefully devising a strategy to coax my sister Margot, who has a monopoly on the TV, into getting excited for the movie. My manoeuvring went like this: I introduced her to The Maze Runner, a deliberate little detour to later ease her into Divergent without raising suspicion. The Shailene Woodley fangirl seed had been planted. Then I dropped The Fault in our Stars on her. Check and mate. Margot is such a Shailene fan now that romantic drama #TSN, which is very unlike the stuff she usually likes, was allowed into her consideration set.

"Hey Matteo, do you want to watch that movie with Tris and Peter?"

plotting racoon
Yes, yes... Excellent
I can't figure out if this makes me a sad or brilliant, but hey, at least it worked. So jot that down.

Sutter Keely (wonderfully-casted Project X actor Miles Teller) prides himself on living in the now. When high school draws to a close, his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson), unable to cope with his ambitionless ways, breaks up with him. A drinking spree ensues. The next morning, Sutter is woken up on a stranger's lawn by Aimee Finecky (the absolutely adorkable Shailene Woodley), a shy girl from his school with little self esteem. Sutter suggests helping Aimee with her paper route, and the two quickly make a connection. Sutter still hasn't quite gotten over his ex girl Cassidy, though.

Young and talented lead actors, a bittersweet and clichéless script, a rich coming of age narrative... What's not to like? Sure, the edges were smoothed a bit, with a more congenial Sutter not deliberately making Aimee his 'project' like he did in the book, and no mention at all of Aimee being statutory raped by her step brother, but that doesn't make this 95-minute heartbreaker any less compelling. If you are looking for a wonderful movie about growing up and anxieties about the future, look no further! Do yourself a favor and watch this movie, if only for the terrific performances put forth by Teller and Woodley.

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