You can fool other people all you want, but you can only lie to yourself for so long. Meet Sutter Keely. You'll often find Sutter carrying a large plastic cup like you would get at a fast food place. What's in it? Maybe soda, but probably not just soda. He also always carries with him a flask filled with whiskey which he either pours into his plastic cup or just drinks straight from the flask. Sutter is only 18. He is a senior in high school facing the decision of what to do once he graduates. If he graduates. He lives with his mom and works at a clothing store. His girlfriend has just broken up with him and he really misses her.
Meet Aimee Finecky. She is a senior in high school. She lives with her mom and brother. She delivers newspapers on a paper route for her mother. She is more into books and studying than any kind of partying or big social life. She has never had a boyfriend.
The hard partying Sutter and the never partying Aimee would never likely cross paths, but what if they did? The Spectacular Now explores the lives of these two people and what happens when these seemingly different people intersect. Perhaps they are not as different as they might seem.
Life is filled with many challenges we must face. The Spectacular Now opens with Sutter staring at a question on a college application about what challenge he has recently faced. By the end of the movie the challenge becomes clear as do many realizations about Sutter's life. These realizations are revealed as the movie goes along through realistic scenes of dialogue and actions that get better and more important as the movie goes along.
The Spectacular Now has some important things to say about people and how they live their lives. It also creates characters that are very memorable and very real. The acting by Miles Teller as Sutter and Shailene Woodley as Aimee in particular is phenomenal. The film is cut together in just the right way with scenes and style put in just the right places. The film is based on a novel, but feels very at home as a movie. It is directed by James Ponsoldt whose previous film Smashed already made him a director to watch out for. This movie takes his talents even further and makes him a director not to be missed. The Spectacular Now is about as real and as good as drama gets.