Not Spectacular, But Good: “The Spectacular Now”

The recent The Spectacular Now (2013) is an adaptation of what is perhaps a fine novel by Tim Tharp, for the movie itself is agreeable.  It deals honestly with young love, with primary characters Sutter and Aimee.  The former is a friendly boy who drinks too much and is distinctly uneager to encounter the future.  The latter, a very kind, bookish lass, becomes his girlfriend.  It transpires that at bottom Sutter is self-rejecting, maybe self-loathing, which is why he denies Aimee’s words that she loves him.  The secrets, the secret understandings, that bring tears; the now which leads people to disregard the future; the way people in love inexorably influence each other (as Sutter influences Aimee regarding liquor)—these are among the picture’s themes.

It’s a romantic film which never gets embarrassing or sentimental.  Miles Teller enacts Sutter and knows exactly how to be a likable extrovert (maybe he is one).  Plus his acting is not without depth.  Shailene Woodley, as Aimee, has what John Simon said Joanna Shimkus has:  “simple naturalness.”  And charm.  Not playing the same kind of girl she portrayed in The Descendants, Woodley is certifiably very talented.  Despite a glossing-over here and there, The Spectacular Now is winning, directed wisely by Jon Ponsoldt.

English: Shailene Woodley at the Toronto Inter...

English: Shailene Woodley at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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