Directed By James Ponsoldt
The Spectacular Now is everything a coming of age story should be. It’s poignant without being preachy, funny while remaining truthful and uncomfortable as hell at times. It is an honest film about growing up and facing the great unknown that comes after high school, something we can all remember and relate to. But it tells that story without the forced nostalgia of other mainstream films.
Miles Teller plays Sutter Keely and his performance is nothing short of astounding. His role is very well written but in the hands of a lesser performer the movie could have fallen apart. I can’t think of many films where I so completely disliked a character at a films onset and by its conclusion I was fully pulling for him to get his shit together. plays Sutter’s rebound girlfriend named Aimee and also turns in a stellar performance.
This is Ponsoldt’s third film, and his third film which deals with alcoholism. In alcoholism was a central part of the story, in drinking is just an activity enjoyed constantly by the teen characters with a brief but deeper exploration in backstory. is also much less a cautionary tale than lacking the heavy-handedness that comes from those kind of stories.
The entire supporting cast is great in the few scenes they appear, including and . Ever since , has been stereotyped in roles as the authority or fatherly figure. While Chandler does play a father in this film, it isn’t the usual fatherly shtick. Chandler’s performance is as different as you could possibly get from his previous films, and I loved it.
This is a rare films that mixes comedy, drama and romance with teenage leads and manages to remain honest and thought provoking. It’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime and worth 2 hours of your time. If you like yourself and want to do yourself a favor watch the Spectacular Now if you hate yourself and feel the need to punishing check out Star Trek Into Darkness.