The Spectacular Now
Rated R for alcohol use, language and some sexuality – all involving teen
Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson
You can see more of the cast here on IMDB.
I am so excited that my boyfriend suggested we go and see this. I had seen Shailene Woodley on Conan on Tuesday and I’ve heard some really great things about the movie and the book. I was always sort of skeptical of Shailene but she’s going to be Tris Prior in Divergent and Hazel Grace in The Fault in Our Stars so I’ve been open minded to her. The closest showing of the movie was in Los Angeles, which is a good 45 minutes away, on a good day, not counting for LA traffic. However, my boyfriend was the one who suggested it, and was super awesome and drove me out there to see the movie.
It ended up being REALLY cool too, because co-writer Scott Neustadter and co-producer Tom McNulty did a Q and A after the showing of the movie. I’m working on getting the audio of that up on my blog but I can be technologically challenged so I’m working on it.
I really enjoyed this movie. The way the story went, it had a chance to kind of become a cheesy, quotable, dramatic teen movie but it really wasn’t that way at all. It was made beautifully and I loved the indie feel of it. I love the rawness and the the genuine feel to it. There was nothing forced or overproduced or any of that sort of thing. It felt like these characters, these places were all real, and I love that about a movie. I’m not always a big fan of movies being overproduced. Don’t get me wrong; I want my fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian stuff to be produced well but when its a contemporary novel and story, I want it to be about the story, the connection between the characters, the journey that a character takes. That is what contemporary novels are all about.
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller had an amazing chemistry as Aimee and Sutter. I had only seen Shailene in The Secret Life of An American Teenager, and I’d never seen Miles in anything, and they’re both going to be in the movie adaptation of a book that is one of my favorites, Divergent. Seeing both of them in this movie really gave me a boost of confidence in their acting skills. They both showed a prowess for capturing the characters that they were hired to capture. They both were so real. They talked like people, there weren’t any super beautiful or flowery words; there were only the words that you would actually hear these teenagers say to each other.
I also liked that this movie wasn’t really a happy movie, and that there was a hopeful ending, but not a happy ending. Some people may not like that kind of movie but I am okay with that. I have said many times on this blog that I am not a big fan of happy endings and I stick to that. I find happy endings, overly happy books to be too ridiculously unrealistic. This movie presents real issues, and in a way that makes them believable and not forced in the slightest. The idea of teen alcoholism and overcoming the fear of leaving home, of telling your parents what you want and not what they want, it all comes across in a way that you can’t help but believe it. You also never really believe that things are going to be perfect and that’s exactly how life really is.
I also love that its a real, true genuine teen movie, and like Scott and Tom said, it really reminds you of the teen movies that used to be made, the ones that I was absolutely obsessed with in high school. Sixteen Candles. The Breakfast Club. Say Anything. Pretty in Pink. It captures all those feelings and heightened emotions when you’re a teenager, but its overly cheesy. It was a truly beautiful movie.
Also, my boyfriend really loved it too, and he’s hard to please when it comes to movies, especially when they are based off of YA books. He tends to avoid those. But he really liked it, and if that isn’t recommendation enough for you, you are going to miss out on a great movie. Hopefully you’ll find it in a theater near you. As an indie film, it has a limited theater release.
5 out of 5
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