Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5
The other repeating theme (besides robots) from this summer’s movies is coming-of-age stories. This film is about Sutter (Miles Teller), a high school senior. Sutter is enjoying life to the fullest, but is a budding alcoholic who doesn’t worry/plan for his future and has issues due to no father at home.
After he and his girlfriend break up, Sutter meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley) when he wakes up hung-over on some random front lawn. He lives by the spur of the moment and for the spectacular now, while she is more laid back and future-thinking. They help each other grow, but of course also have issues. I thought they both gave very good performances. This also has good supporting performances by Kyle Chandler and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sutter’s parents.
The Spectacular Now was written by the same folks who wrote (500) Days of Summer, another movie I really liked. They did not go for the easy, predictable resolution at the end. This film is definitely worth seeing.
Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5
This reminded me of one of my favorite movies of last year, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This film focuses on a charismatic, charming, savvy beyond his years, high school outsized personality (that’s Sutter played by a spectacular Miles Teller), comparable to Ezra Miller’s Patrick character in Perks, who develops a close bond with a seemingly naive, nerdish outcast (Aimee, by also spectacular Shailene Woodley, incredibly likeable and natural), comparable to Logan Lerman’s Charlie in Perks, and they are both transformed. The theme is a love for life, a realization that you can live your life as your true self and find people who love you as you are. You can have people in your life who disappoint you or even hate you and rise above it. You can be hit with what appears to be horrible experiences in high school and not only survive, but move on to an exciting future. This film, same as Perks, has an inspiring life affirming message that is appropriate for kids of all ages. I would especially encourage teenagers to enjoy this film.