The Spectacular Now
4.0Overall Score

Ever since reading the raving reviews of this little hidden gem it has been on my to watch list….finally date and iTunes for this to happen.

To sum it up before actually summing it up…I really enjoyed this movie in many ways. Unfortunately a few days have passed ever since watching it…but I will try to come up with the good, bad and the ugly.

The Good
This movie was a very nice depiction of (what I imagine) American suburban high school life to be. Lots of partying and drinking at non-drinking age, hopes for what the future is about to bring and newspaper routes. Since I haven’t read the books, I can’t go all: “The book is sooo much better.” To cut a long story short, a nice part of this movie were both the main as well as the supporting cast, every actor hit the role just spot on. The love story between Sutter and Aimee is likable, believable and just nice. Also the different relationship (problems) with their respective parents and how both of them handle it and/or motivate each other to handle it is really well done. When mentioning the realism of this movie, I also would like to refer to one particular scene (semi-spoiler alert) of teen first time endeavors. Everything about this scene was shot and acted out perfectly. In no movie I have seen was a sex scene as realistic without being raunchy…they just hit home run.

The Bad
There were a few things which kept bothering me during the movie; not enough to dislike it but enough to mention that it bothered me. One problem is the way the movie deals with the obvious alcoholism of Sutter. Putting the fact aside that he is 18 years old and already an alcoholic, I thought he got off too easy with a million times drunk driving and other “happenings”. I didn’t necessarily expect for the movie to go all “kids don’t drink and drive” on me but throughout the entire movie, Sutter was basically “loaded” and none of his actions had any consequences for him – which I thought didn’t really hit the right tone. Another “bad” element for me was to see and realize that Coach Taylor isn’t only Coach Taylor (aka the best dad on the planet) but can also be a drunk asshole. And while still adding some elements of his Texan Coach’ism, he was ultimately a terrible guy who he played really well (so it actually was good but just bad for me personally). The end of the movie is something to argue about; on the hand I like these types of endings but they are not for everyone. It doesn’t give you the closure you may be hoping for but it also keeps you guessing….that is as much I can say without spoiling it too much.

The Ugly
This was the second movie with Shailene Woodley I have seen, and they did a really good job in making her not look as beautiful as she normally does while still portraying her (undisputable) natural beauty. The other “ugly” element of the movie was the way it delibarately shot, the camera used lots of wide nature shots (which was the pretty) and the color was a little dim which I believe to have been an element of showing the “sadness” of American suburban life – if you don’t find a way out.

All in all this was a really great movie and I would highly recommend watching it with your loved one …

The Goods

  • Great atmosphere and really likable characters
  • True (at least what I imagine) suburban high school America
  • Enjoyable evening watch with your SO

The Bads

  • Goes a little too easy on the problem of high school alcoholism
  • Conclusion is too “easy”


  • Running time: 93 min
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, 

    • Year: 2013


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