The Spectacular Now: 5 Ways the Teen Flick Makes Us Swoon

Like Say Anything before it, this modern romantic youth movie breaks new ground

By Peter Paras Aug 05, 2013 12:10 AMTags
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High school is about to end. The unseen future is coming. Sutter Keely should be graduating, if he can get his act together. He's a hit with the ladies, has tons of friends and even more funny quips for every occasion. He's adored like Lloyd Dobler but he's saddled with a not-so-secret problem: Nearly every moment Sutter is holding a flask, or some other booze receptacle. After a crazy-long bender the night before, he wakes up on the front lawn of Aimee Finicky's home. Sparks fly between a way-cool dude and the bookish gal. She's definitely into him. As Sutter flirts, he entangles himself in her life, but the post-high school world is quickly approaching. Sutter doesn't care. He only lives for moment, the spectacular now…

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are teens to root for just like John Cusack and Ione Skye were in Cameron Crowe's 80s classic Say Anything…

Last year, Emma Watson rocked out to David Bowie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. We're in a new era of great movies about growing up. Added bonus: Fast Times at Ridgemont High alum Jennifer Jason Leigh's small part as Sutter's mom. Righteous, dude.

Five reasons ways we're swooning for The Spectacular Now:


1. The Resurgence of the Coming of Age Movie. Last year's Perks of Being a Wallflower got us all wanting to be infinite. Based on the novel by Tim Tharp, Now also revels in the preciously fleeting end of adolescence with wit, warmth, and many tears. Get thee to the prom!

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2. Sutter: Not at All a Wallflower. Miles Teller previously starred as the nerdiest bad boy ever in Project X and 21 & Over. As Sutter, Teller's endless amount of swagger is intoxicating. The way he imbues this teen with insecurity though is new territory for the actor. Most teen films have a de facto bully. Sutter is ultimately his own.

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3. Shailene Woodley: The Not-So-Secret Life of an American Teenager. She's out of Spidey's life (for now). Next year, we'll see if the odds are ever in her favor in Divergent. As Aimee, Woodley's the ultimate teenage boy's dream girl mainly because she doesn't realize how awesome she is. She even delivers newspapers for her mother's route. Adorable!

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4. Small Town, Big Problems. Director James Ponsoldt's previous flick also focused on drinkers: the underrated Smashed, in which Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul played a couple of addicts in Los Angeles. Here, Sutter is pretty much a solo drinker, which makes his descent in a small town even sadder.

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5. Creepy Coach Taylor. Fans of NBC's short-lived, much-loved Friday Night Lights know that Kyle Chandler's hair often spoke volumes about the actor's mood. The more out of control his quaff, the more the Dillon Panthers were in dire need of a fourth-down miracle. Here, Chandler is a man from Sutter's past and that mop top does not lead to a nice reunion.

Are you ready to be 16 all over again? Sound off in the comments!

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