Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Spectacular Now, a Movie Review

I'll admit my senior year in high school I was known to have a beer or two (or three), but I did not have a flask as part of my daily wardrobe, nor did the drink I kept with me in a Styrofoam cup average around 60 proof. Sutter Keely (played by Miles Teller) in The Spectacular Now does. The story revolves around Sutter and his senior year in high school. Everyone loves Sutter. Needless to say he is the life of every party. 

The movie opens with him lamenting about his break up with Cassie (Brie Larson) and how the two of them made the perfect pair. Unlike many hard partying teenagers, Sutter is not conceited, or running around with a band of  hoodlums, perhaps, however, a little self-possessed.  He is in school, he has a job he enjoys, there is never lack for something to do. He is a cute seventeen year old, who has nothing but good intentions and love for everyone. But, as the name of the movie says, he lives in the moment, for the moment, and no further in life. Although, I will admit he usually gets 125% out of his moments. 

His life is an example of all a high school senior year can be (or was) for all of us - the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. Well, maybe not for the perfect person we all had in our class who lettered in his/her sport each season, enjoyed dating different people, always had great clothes, finished close to top of the class, attended an Ivy League school, and went on to become a brain surgeon or rocket scientist, or better yet, married one. But, I digress. 

The story is more than just the tale of high school loves and losses, drama and parties, graduation and, sometimes, not - it is the story of real life, of broken families, of ugly ducklings, and flawed prince charmings. Life moves on, and some are hesitant to jump on the bus. It reminded me a lot of The Perks of Being a Wildflower (with Emma Watson), just without the well known cast and the more sophisticated storyline. However, this is a story that stands on its own. I do not want to spoil the ending, so I will go no further. I will say the story really begins when Sutter (literally) opens his eyes to see a classmate (Aimee played by Shailene Woodley) he never knew. 

I recommend the investment of 95 minutes of your time. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91% and this was part of their review, "What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth - one that doesn't look for tidy truths."

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