Review: The Spectacular Now

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Teenage love is a special thing. You will always remember the first person you loved. Love is a really strong word for a moment in your life when everything, especially you, is so juvenile. So, you never forget the first person you really, really liked. It’s all soooooo dramatic, though, right? And in hindsight, not much happened and nothing was really worth all that drama. But you love retelling that story. No matter how it ended. And why? Because everyone can relate. The Spectacular Now depicts such an honest and real relationship – the most authentic I’ve seen in what feels like forever – that at moments, you have chills, you’re nervous, you’re sweating – it’s like your at your first school dance all over again (my first school dance just came screaming back to me).

The Spectacular Now does a spectacular job of being so damn real. Because, again, we’ve all been there. Aimee or Sutter (these names….) are two normal teenagers. Sometimes teenagers are depicted in a way that’s exaggerated but remain grounded in reality (Mean Girls, Superbad) and are relatable to a point. In this movie, you know these people because you’ve been there before. There subplots might be a little cliche and overreaching (the film falls apart once Sutter’s dad is introduced) but whats at the core of this movie – their love – it hurts. These kids, they’re dumb, because they’re kids. Kids who think they’re in love and that everything will be okay because they love each other except it won’t and they’re both absolutely terrible for each other…right now. I’m going to stop here before I spoil the whole thing and this becomes an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter.

So yes, to repeat myself for the 100th time, this movie is very real. And this is mainly because of the script and the performances. Shailene. OH SHAILENE. I have my issues with you but when you’re good, I want to look at no one else. She’s so mesmerizing in this movie. She doesn’t have long moments of intense dialogue like Miles Teller but it’s in her body language, her expressions, her reactions to things that are the most memorable and powerful moments in the film – for me. I loved her the most. I thought Miles Teller was good – I don’t know if he was exceptional in this like some are making him out to be but he was good and showed some range and played the kind of character he was given without it being laughable.

Is this the romance to define a generation? Err…. not really. If the movie were just the first 1 hour, I would be it’s biggest fan but then…but then we lose focus. Maybe I went in expecting it to focus mainly on Sutter and Aimee but once the major subplot (or one of, rather) is introduced, it just kind of fell apart for me. I didn’t need it.

But I have few issues with the film and enjoyed almost everything about it. Especially the sex scene. Is that awkward? It was just SO REAL. Like, too real. And so well done.

 

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