By Krista Murray
This ambitious comedy-drama immediately begins with the main character Sutter Keely, a charming high school partygoer, played by Miles Teller, coping with a recent break up from his idea of the “perfect girl.” After an entire night of partying, Sutter wakes up the next morning on an unknown lawn where he meets Aimee Fineky, an on the surface typical “nice girl,” played by the believable Shailene Woodley. Thus, setting up a relationship that is just as harmful as it is heart-warming.
The Spectacular Now, directed by Indie filmmaker James Ponsoldt and written by the duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer), is a realistically acted drama with an incredible cast including names like Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Brie Larson (21 Jump Street). However, the film struggles with character arches that make once relatable individuals into characters who make head scratching decisions that leave the audience more confused than touched.
In the end, The Spectacular Now is a coming of age story that tries desperately to avoid the clichés of other young adult starring films and it mostly succeeds with occasional drawbacks in the conclusion, which should have been spectacular, but was rather lack-luster.