It’s one thing to live in the moment. It’s another thing to be stuck in it and dodging the future.
“The Spectacular Now” is a wryly funny, compassionate and wise portrait of teens on the cusp of adulthood.
Miles Teller is terrific as Sutter Keely, an underachieving high school senior whose easygoing charm makes him well-liked but not taken seriously. He’s the fun-loving guy who drinks too much at parties.
Sutter wakes up one morning, passed out on a lawn he doesn’t recognize. Standing over him is innocent Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley).
Aimee is sunny and hardworking. Sutter is an upbeat guy with a ready quip. But there’s a dark side under his carefree charm. He lives in the now because he can’t conceive of a future.
A budding alcoholic, Sutter brings a flask filled with whiskey nearly everywhere — to his part-time job at a men’s clothing store and when he gets behind the wheel.
Will Aimee’s influence set Sutter straight? Or will he break her heart and head down the ne’er-do-well path taken by his estranged dad (Kyle Chandler)?
One of the summer’s best films, “Spectacular Now” has a combustible combination of fabulous performances, pitch-perfect script and deft direction. Filmmaker James Ponsoldt is ideally suited to bring to life the nuanced screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.
Teller and Woodley’s chemistry is strikingly convincing. With her guileless smile, Woodley is wondrously natural, perhaps even better than she was in “The Descendants.”