‘The Spectacular Now’: Indie drama wins hearts

Despite the classic bad-boy-falls-for-good-girl plot, The Spectacular Now is not a cliché. Based on a novel by Tim Tharp, the movie presents a well-crafted, raw, and honest story that follows Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) and Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley), seemingly opposite high school seniors, who find themselves and fall in love.
Sutter is a witty, popular guy who takes life in the now, always with a flask in his pocket. After breaking up with his long-time girlfriend, Sutter wakes up on Aimee’s lawn. Aimee is reserved and shy, and Sutter feels he has so much life to offer her.
Sutter struggles with trying to figure out who he is while under the influence of alcohol. Don’t be fooled by advertisements that portray The Spectacular Now as a sweet, classic love story. The love story plot is there, but the film is really about two people who find things in each other that give them the courage to face their futures. The Spectacular Now ‘s coming-of-age theme is complicated by the unexpected addition of teenage alcoholism.
At times, the film lacks focus and structure, but actors Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller deliver captivating performances. The actors have chemistry that makes up for some of the awkwardness in the flow of the movie. The script for The Spectacular Now portrays life as it is. Each scene is crafted with raw emotion; they build throughout the film so viewers are not aware of the whole picture until it’s over. Beyond being confused about the future and about love, Sutter needs to deal with being an alcoholic. The Spectacular Now is a great film because it’s original and packed with talent. Unlike most cliché films about first loves, The Spectacular Now portrays love as it actually is: imperfect and complicated. Sutter and Aimee have their own flaws, and one is never entirely sure if they were even good for each other. So, while the ending isn’t picture perfect, it’s hopeful and refreshingly real.