the spectacular now

The Spectacular Now Review: Breakout Roles For Young Stars

The Spectacular Now Movie Review

In high school, a lot of people think they have everything figured out. Everyone wants to live for the moment. Just be young and in love. Party it up with friends. You are naive enough to think you’ve got it all figured out, and too stubborn to listen to any “adult” to tell you otherwise. The truth is, most young people don’t fully realize the hardships of adulthood. They don’t realize to joys of adulthood either.


Sutter (Miles Teller) has life figured out at the age of 17. He just wants to have fun, drink booze and live in the moment. Until he stumbles into a relationship with Aimee (Shailene Woodley), the slightly different “girl-next-door” type. As their relationship develops and gets more serious, Sutter must decide if he’s ready to make an actual commitment.


This is not ‘A Walk to Remember.’ This is not ‘She’s All That.’ It is a story about the popular kid who starts to date the not-so-popular girl, but its much more than that. ‘The Spectacular Now’ does what movies should do. It highlights the best and worst parts of life, which brings us that much closer to the characters. It makes us wish we had a love like that, or realize the love we have is beautiful in that same way. This movie makes you proud of the hardships you’ve overcome. But most importantly it makes you optimistic about life. And at the end of the day, what more can you want from a film? Guns? Sex? Giant Robots? Those are all great. But, ‘The Spectacular Now’, will make you realize that your flawed life is more entertaining and tragically beautiful than ‘Transformers’ could ever be.

Both Teller and Woodley are excellent in this movie. Shailene Woodley deserves an Oscar Nomination. PERIOD. She has grown so much as an actress since her Golden Globe nomination for ‘The Descendants.’ It’s almost like she is this character. What makes her so great is her body language. She is perfectly awkward and sweet as a young woman who doesn’t know any better than to be emotionally vulnerable. SHE WILL WIN AN OSCAR AT SOME POINT IN HER CAREER. Write that down.

Teller is very impressive too. He can act. I didn’t really know this. I only knew that I didn’t hate him in ’21 & Over.’ He does well as the lead role and he has a bright future in front of him.

Aside from one very artistic shot near the end, the cinematography was very plain. It wasn’t bad, just plain. In fact, it gave off a Cinéma Vérité vibe, meaning that it seemed like the camera was only there to capture real life.  It actually helped bring the story to life, because there are no extravagant shots that remind you this is a movie.


The trailer for this movie is excellent, which means I had high hopes walking into the theater. Even with those high hopes, I still believe this one of the best films of the year. This movie will force you to fall in love with Shailene Woodley and it will force you to respect Miles Teller. Everyone should see this movie, because it will remind you how powerful love is and how happiness is so much better when it is shared.

Review Overview

Movie Melt Score - 9


A touching film with breakout performances from it's young stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, who are certain to show up in big time roles in the near future. One of the best romances of the year.

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