Living in the Moment

The Spectacular Now is all about living in the moment. As one of the earliest films from A24, I knew I needed to see The Spectacular Now now. I didn’t read the book, but Shailene Woodley’s strange romantic connection to three of her Divergent co-stars is what caught my attention. In this case it’s with her onscreen rival played by Miles Teller. What elevates The Spectacular Now from other coming of age teen flicks is just how genuine it feels.

Set at the end of Senior year, Sutter Keely is only concerned with drinking and partying with his girlfriend Cassidy. But living in the now comes at the expense of his future and even his girlfriend. I’m not the biggest fan of Miles Teller, but he does manage to make a popular alcoholic like Sutter likable, or at least believable. The breakup hits him hard and he goes on a bender that results in him passed out on a strangers lawn. Genuinely likable introvert Aimee Finecky finds him and they start talking. Aimee’s a lot like how I was growing up. Not exactly shy, optimistic, nerdy, comfortable staying out of social situations, but willing to do more.

Shailene Woodley is a natural who plays Aimee very kind and forgiving. Although they seem like polar opposites, they become a couple that feels real. Their first kiss is awkward, their first time is realistic, and they have rough patches before and after prom. It’s just Sutter meeting his deadbeat drunk father for the first time that causes self doubt. I thought it would take a darker turn, but The Spectacular Now works best as a personal journey that points to an optimistic future.


Aimee helps Sutter pick out a song

5 thoughts on “Living in the Moment

  1. You don’t really hear much of Shailene at the moment, which is a bit of a shame, as she is definitely not a bad actress. Miles Teller isn’t either by the way (he was terrific in the phenomenal Whiplash). Haven’t heard of this film, but this review definitely made me curious for it! Great post!😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Spectacular Now is a great star vehicle for Woodley and Teller. You’re right that they haven’t done much lately. I was actually pretty surprised at how short their filmographies really are. Then I have to remind myself that their still in their late 20’s-early 30’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds really good. I’m going to check it out. I like late teens early 20s coming to grips with reality movies–if they are good. Have you seen Adventureland?…Dogfight?…Go?…Those are three films that fall into that wheelhouse that are very good, I think.
    Anyway, nice review. I’m looking forward to watching The Spectacular Now.

    Liked by 1 person

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