A new review from the desk of The Movie Snob.
The Spectacular Now (B+). This independent flick has been getting good buzz for its authentic take on how teenagers really live nowadays, and I thought it really was quite good. Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole) plays Sutter Keely, a high school senior whose happy-go-lucky persona and live-for-now philosophy semi-conceal a serious drinking problem. After one of his benders, he wakes up lying in the front yard of a classmate, Aimee (Shailene Woodley, The Descendants), and she helps him look for his missing car. Aimee is not part of Sutter’s social network, but she is sweet and pretty, and he is on the rebound, so they gradually become an item, and the movie goes on from there. I thought the movie seemed fairly realistic in addressing Sutter’s alcoholism and his lingering issues from the fact that his dad walked out on his family when Sutter was a small child. Interestingly, director James Ponsoldt’s last movie was Smashed, about a young married couple’s struggle with alcoholism (and Smashed star Mary Elizabeth Winstead turns up in this movie as Sutter’s older sister). Good performances by the young stars, and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding) turns in nice supporting work as Sutter’s put-upon mom. I’d probably have given the movie a higher grade, but I was a little disturbed by the movie’s cavalier attitude towards teenaged sex, which unlike drinking is presented as a positive and consequence-free sort of thing. Even so, I thought it was a pretty good movie.