The Spectacular Now - movie review


First off, I’ve heard good things about this film, but I have no idea what other critics saw that I didn’t.

This film should actually be called “The Awesome Now” because they say the word “awesome” about as often as they say “Old Sport” in “The Great Gatsby”. They say it a lot. It’s very annoying and distracting. The dialogue seems naturally spoken, almost impromptu, except that every other word is “awesome”. Ugh.

Did I mention that they use the word “awesome” a lot? They do.

Miles Teller as the main character Sutter is kind of a dick, an anti-hero. But the thing about anti-heroes is that even though they’re rough around the edges, they’re supposed to have redeeming qualities. Sutter has none. Shailene Woodley does a good job as Aimee, Sutter’s new girlfriend. Again, Sutter himself has no redeeming qualities (even turning Aimee to alcoholism, putting hard liquor in everything they drink), so it’s hard to understand why Aimee falls for him. But Sutter is supposedly the first guy who has expressed interest in her, so I guess that’s why.

I do like that the people in the film look like real people. It seems that they’re not wearing any make-up. It’s either a good make-up job, or the Direct of Photography did a good job.

Everything in this film seems under-acted, like they’re not really into it and just going through the motions. There are arguments, but no one really yells. There’s a short sex scene, but only slightly heavier-than-normal breathing... before the screen and sound fades out completely. Shailene Woodley’s character supposedly has a big blowout with her mom, but it isn’t shown onscreen. Sutter meets his deadbeat dad, but the dad doesn’t seem THAT deadbeat. I’ve seen more powerful deadbeat dad stories on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Boy Meets World”. After he meets his dad, Sutter confronts his mom, but it’s done almost in whispers.

I don’t recommend this film. It’s not awesome. It’s only so-so at best.