Friday, September 20, 2013

The Spectacular Now... Not So Spectacular

I went to Cinemapolis recently to see The Spectacular Now, directed by James Ponsoldt. The screenplay was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the writers of (500) Days of Summer, which is one of my all time favorite movies. With this in mind, I had very high expectations for this movie.

To start off my critique, I will first say that the acting by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) was great. Miles Teller played Sutter, a confused alcoholic high school senior who meets Aimee, played by Shailene Woodley. Aimee is a "not-so-typical nice girl," who influences Sutter and changes his philosophy on life. It all sounds like a great movie, but the way it was portrayed did not do it for me.

Sutter was not a likable character at all in the beginning, so I was hoping for a drastic change by the end. But there was barely a change. The slight change that did occur wasn't until the last five minutes of the movie. This caused the ending to feel abrupt and incomplete. Aimee was very sweet and an interesting girl, but some of her actions were not very realistic.

The dialogue was good, but the movie as a whole did not flow. It seemed to jump around from scene to scene and made me slightly confused. Just one example of this was when Sutter was trying to get into a bar without an I.D. and the bouncer kept rejecting him. Cut to: Sutter is in the bar having drinks with a group of girls. So... how did he get in? I understand that movies can't show everything and have to cut things out, but a lot of it seemed very disconnected.

Another aspect I was not very fond of was the overall plot. A lot of things were left open ended, which works sometimes, but I did not feel any resolution for anything. Sutter has a little speech at the end (as a voiceover) in which he talks about how he's changed. But the movie never really shows that he changed. I also felt throughout the whole movie, Sutter did not sincerely like Aimee. He was just "doing her a favor." There was just not enough of a turnaround for his character in the end.

I wanted to like this movie so badly, but I just didn't. I would watch the movie again to see if it grows on me at all. I mean, look how good the trailer is:

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