The Spectacular Now is about the lives of two high school students preparing to graduate. It addresses issues that most teenagers are probably thinking about. What will bring them happiness? Do you really need to be constantly thinking about the future? What if things are fine just the way they are? What if I don’t want to grow up and I just want to be a Toys R Us kid? Well, teenagers are probably not thinking about that last question, but it sort of goes along with the theme of the movie. Does a person need to change or can they just live in the moment, the “spectacular now”?
The film is fantastic because it does not try to hit viewers over the head with the answers to these questions. The answers are hinted at throughout the movie as it explores the lives of the two teens portrayed by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The characters feel like real teenagers. The acting is not over-the-top or overly dramatic.
Miles Teller’s character, Sutter has a drinking problem. Some people around him notice, but his mother seems oblivious to it. This just goes to show how bad his family life is. The families of both characters are broken, but it is explored in such a natural way. There is a huge amount of character development in The Spectacular Now that makes it interesting to watch.
The Spectacular Now kept me on the edge of my seat, not because of its gripping drama, but because of the number of driving scenes. It just seems like driving scenes never end well in a drama. I kept expecting something terrible to happen with all of the distracted and drunk driving. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Anyways, The Spectacular Now is a great film. It is one that I wish I had watched sooner. Also, is Shailene Woodley just destined to play a 16-year-old or a high school student?