What does your now look like? For Sutter (Miles Teller, sharp and very good), it’s freaking spectacular until his girlfriend breaks up with him over a misunderstanding. Suddenly he goes from being the life of the party to the pity party (of one). After a sad night out, he wakes up on a stranger’s lawn where a potential rebound gives him an assist. Aimee, the schoolmate whom he doesn’t know but who knows of him (Shailene Woodley, lovely and earnest), drives him home and provides him a pity project that turns into something so much more.
Together they push and pull at each other: him, the not-so secret alcoholic with authority issues, and her, the pragmatic romantic and yes girl. Their now shifts with every promise and challenge and white lie; they make the effort to meet each other halfway but never stay smack dab in the middle.
Sealing the deal for me are Miles and Shailene's pitch perfect performances. You believe that he is the smooth-talking kid who's so terrified of being hurt that he inflicts a world of pain on the people closest to him. You believe that she is the wallflower who doesn't know how to guard her heart yet. Aimee and Sutter's relationship is full of nervous laughter and facepalm moments—and every bit feels achingly real.
Adapted by the writers of (500) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now is easily one of the most entertaining ways to spend one and a half hours. The open-ended conclusion can be a turn-off but it can also give you hope—and it’s certainly a lot more optimistic than the book source of the movie. I regret not seeing it sooner but better late than never, right?
P.S. I'm excited to watch Shailene and Miles go from lovebirds to archenemies as Tris and Peter in Divergent. I can almost see the GIFs and crossover fanfics.
The Spectacular Now is available on DVD.