The Spectacular Now


The teen movie genre has not been as prevalent as it once was in the 80’s and 90’s. Sure there are a few movies that pop up from year to year but they are usually unoriginal and formulaic that moviegoers wisely skip them.

I remember in the late 90’s how much this genre mattered to me and my peers who felt a connection to these movies even though we were much younger than the characters in them. Movies like “American Pie,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Cruel Intentions” were idolized by my peers and I and we thought that nothing better could come forth from this genre and to an extant we were right.

However, after watching “The Spectacular Now” I must say that the teen movie genre has been taken in a new and better direction. This film stars Miles Teller as Sutter Keely, a high school senior who parties hard and does not have a clue about his future after high school. He breaks up with his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) who wants a more serious relationship and a boyfriend with direction. Sutter feels the lost of this relationship to which he befriends modest and smart Aimee (Shailene Woodley). Sutter starts dating Aimee with the intention of helping her out by showing her what it is like to have a boyfriend. But when a variety of unresolved issues come forth Sutter must finally take his life and future seriously.

I really enjoyed this film due to its serious subject matter like alcoholism.  Sutter is a burgeoning alcoholic. There are many scenes where he is drinking from his flask that he carries with him everywhere. I also thought the director did a fine job of showing just how scary it can be to know that someone loves you when you feel unlovable and trying to come to terms with it.  Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber who wrote “(500) Days of Summer” once again produce a remarkable story that delves into the complex nature of relationships but from the viewpoint of a directionless young man trying to make sense of life.


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