The Spectacular Now - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spectacular Now Reviews

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September 15, 2016
The Spectacular Now is romantic comedy coming-of-age that is far from being cliché.
½ September 9, 2016
High school boy who is content to drift through life with minimal effort (and buzzed most of the time) undeservedly earns the love of a girl and painfully learns the truth about his father.
½ August 15, 2016
At least once a year we're given a film about teenagers. If they're not wizards, vampires, werewolves, star-crossed lovers or smart-mouthed too-cool-for-schoolers, they're fodder for some misunderstood slasher. Rarely are we given a film that portrays adolescent angst with refreshing honesty. Thankfully, we have such a film in THE SPECTACULAR NOW.

Sutter Keely is a popular high school senior. He's charmingly cocky, self-assured and he gets along great with everyone. He loves his part-time job at a men's clothing store and he has a nice car. He also loves his alcohol and he's never very far away from his next supersized, whiskey-laced soft drink. Life is great for Sutter and he has no plans to change anything. One day, after his girlfriend dumps him, he gets drunk and wakes up on the lawn of his classmate, Aimee Finecky. She's different from all the other girls he knows. She's a bit of a science fiction nerd but she's sweet. She dreams of a bright future for herself and whomever she should marry. Sutter, on the other hand, lives only in the now. He has no dreams. Yet, somehow, they're drawn together.

Like most teenagers, Sutter and Aimee both have parental issues. Both want to stand up to their mothers but neither has the confidence to do so. For Aimee, she wants to go to an out-of-state university but her mother wants her to stay home. For Sutter, he wants to reconnect with his estranged father but his mother wants to keep them apart. When they make a pact with each other to challenge their parents' decisions, they set the wheels in motion that will change their lives forever.

Sutter tracks down his father, and he and Amy go off to visit him. What they find is not what they expect. Like Sutter, his dad lives only for the moment. As he says to Sutter, "live fast, die hard, and leave a beautiful memory". Sutter's eyes are opened for the first time and, although he sees the path he is on, he feels he is not worthy enough to have a life that is any different. Amy, on the other hand, sees Sutter differently. In fact, everyone from his teacher to his sister, boss, best friend, ex-girlfriend (Brie Larson, DON JON) and even his ex's new boyfriend, see Sutter differently. They see that if he can ever love himself as much as they love him, he will be awesome.

If we were not Sutter growing up, we certainly knew kids who were. That's what makes this film so appealingly heartbreaking. He is confident on the outside but is a ball of insecurity on the inside. Aimee, on the other hand, is just the opposite but she is just as authentic. Not surprisingly, THE SPECTACULAR NOW won a special award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for its principal actors, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, who both shine in the film. The National Board of Review named THE SPECTACULAR NOW as one of 2013's Top Ten Independent Films and the Phoenix Film Critics' Society called it the Most Overlooked Film of the Year.

The film isn't scheduled to come to Hong Kong (no surprise) but if you can find it either in DVD format or online (legally, of course), get it and watch it with your teenage kids. Please note, though, that there is one scene of sex and nudity.
August 10, 2016
This isn't a high school love story. It is very mature and about two people healing each other through their wounds. Very deep and touching, with a realness that shows how young naive kids can be both mature and naive at the same time at the crux of a developmental era in their lives.
August 5, 2016
This one dove deep beneath the surface to the scary dark. Yet its nothing less than beautiful, this one of its kind film (obviously, i fell in love with Aimee).
½ July 31, 2016
From the director-writer team of "500 Days of Summer"...better in some ways. I miss dialogue like this...felt like a documentary, the banter was so real. A decidedly non-romantic romance...creeps in with the feels.
July 27, 2016
The Spectacular Now is a very good adaption of the book with great performances by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley and true story about the teenagers now a days, with a sensitive romance and comedy this movie shines to the top.
½ July 15, 2016
An emotional story of the journey through The end of adolescence into adulthood. Miles Teller plays his character of Sutter, a free spirit with no care in the world to perfection. Shailene Woodley is also great as his rebound after a breakup who Sutter eventually falls for.
½ July 10, 2016
The Spectacular Now is a good movie with a nice story and pretty good performances. But, it feels like a let down due to a few coming-of-age cliches(and to its defense, it avoids them quite a lot and as much as it can), and an ending which could've been better.
July 3, 2016
You dont get second chances, thats just a load of bull....
June 26, 2016
The only reason I finished this movie is because I wanted it to redeem itself.
And it did...a little. For starters, the acting in this movie is phenomenal. The only character whose acting was questionable was Krystal, but she only had a few lines.
The biggest redemption was the ending. This movie did what Paper Towns did, take a frustrating, unsatisfying book ending and make it conclusive and satisfying.
Whilst the movie did a wonderful job at adapting the book, I still did not enjoy the story. To be fair, it is the fault of the book and not the fault of the movie, but it still made the movie unenjoyable.

In the end, while I did not enjoy the story, I do respect the movie's adaption of the book, and the acting of the characters. Very well done.
June 23, 2016
Depressing. Encourages low self esteem and apathy for life. Very bad role model.
½ June 12, 2016
Coming-of-age story starring Miles Teller as popular, but troubled high school senior in need of a new perspective on life. Also starring Shailene Woodley who is outstanding as the "good girl" and romantic interest of Teller's character. The super high caliber supporting cast is brilliant as well. The plot is highly believable and touching, based on the novel of the same name. This move needs to be seen by more people!
June 9, 2016
The acting is excellent, the coming-of-age story is a little understated, but works well in terms of the sincerity of what's being conveyed.
June 7, 2016
I was expecting a little more than what I got out of this film. It's still good, but not as good as the ratings indicate.
Super Reviewer
½ June 6, 2016
Teller and Woodley are excellent and have an impressive chemistry together in this sincere coming-of-age drama that feels more real and mature than most films alike, and it even ventures into a surprisingly bleak territory without the need to go for clichés and contrivances.
June 5, 2016
The Spectacular Now crosses the intersection of circumstance and consequence with indecent elegance.
June 1, 2016
This might be the best romantic drama, coming of age story and American teen film I've seen in YEARS. It's quite possibly the best film of 2013. Yes, this unassuming little indie film is absolutely incredible. With no-frills, it's gorgeously shot and set in (a very purposeful) everyday American suburban town and looks wonderful, with long wide shots of a rustic setting and painfully emotive close ups. It's one of those films that looks how it feels; capturing the beauty of every day life.

The writing is so natural that I can't even wrap my head around how it was written. It couldn't have been, because the performances here are so natural, so authentic and so powerful, that the actors must have just carried themselves. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley crackle with deep humanity and mesmerizing chemistry and it's awe inspiring to watch. For such a simple story, watching these two people fall in love before your eyes beats almost any cinematic experience I've seen over the past few years.

Woodley might have been snubbed for an Oscar nomination with this performance. She doesn't even seem like she's acting. And Teller, playing the carefree party guy he typically does (and does well), adds a whole level of depth and complexity. The film is almost subversive in how it plays with our expectations and because of that, I feel like it's the definitive American coming of age story of the decade. A must watch.
May 31, 2016
A beautiful and strong character study about the struggle within one's self packed within a believable romantic tale.
½ May 26, 2016
"The Spectacular Now" starring Miles Teller is that once in a while film that comes along takes a lot of turns, keeps you thoroughly engaged, and makes you run the gamut of emotions. Teller, as Sutter Keely, plays a likeable, sometimes loveable, but often hateable senior in high school who often makes the decision you are convinced he won't.

The supporting cast, all who have a remarkable chemistry with Teller, and all have small but pivotal roles. Jennifer Jason Leigh, as Sutter's mom, Bob Odenkirk, as Sutter's boss, and Brie Larson as Sutter's ex-girlfriend each have flawless performances. The depth that JJL can show makes her one of my all-time favs. Teller, who parlayed this role into one in Whiplash, which made him a mainstream star, is spectacular playing the often tormented teen.

Shailene Woodley, plays Aimee Finicky, Sutter's late senior year girlfriend. The long single shot scenes between the two are so authentic you'd think you're watching with a hidden camera into someone's real life. This movie is special, the cast is fantastic, the direction is natural, and the writing ties it all together. There's little not to like. It's one of the best coming-of-age films of recent memory.
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