The Spectacular Now

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

[Amazon Link]
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Warning for fellow geezers: this movie shows high school students drinking, using bad language, and having ze sex. I guess that's what's happening these days. IMDB bills this as Comedy/Drama/Romance, but (just like Blue Jasmine) there aren't a lot of laughs.

Plot: high school senior Sutter Keely (really) is the self-admitted "life of the party", but his hot girlfriend Cassidy dumps him (for some reason I didn't quite get). Now, Sutter is a nice guy, but he is way too fond of ethanol. And getting dumped is a fine reason to overdo even more. So one morning he wakes up on the lawn of Aimee Finicky (again, really), a fellow student.

Aimee is an introverted nerd, a reader of science fiction and fantasy. And not as hot as Cassidy. Aimee knows Sutter—everyone knows Sutter—but he's been unaware of her. They are drawn to each other, becoming friends at first, then graduating to a more serious relationship. Sutter's friends are dubious about the whole thing. Can this relationship work?

Both Sutter and Aimee are sympathetic and likeable characters. But we discover the serious cracks in their personal foundations, especially Sutter's. He's the product of a broken home, and his mom has kept him in the dark about the details. I already mentioned the boozing. He's also neglectful about his future plans, living in the "spectacular now". This is a pretty unusual theme for a teen movie to hit on, I think.

It's cleverly written, not predictable, and the acting is first-rate. Although this was a low-budget indie movie, the main actors are moving into bigger roles: the guy playing Sutter is going to be Mr. Fantastic in the new Fantastic Four movie, and the girl playing Aimee is the heroine in the Hunger Games ripoff, Divergent. So good for them.

Last Modified 2024-01-27 5:44 AM EDT