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The Spectacular Now (2013)

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A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Director:

James Ponsoldt

Writers:

Scott Neustadter (screenplay), Michael H. Weber (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,902 ( 41)
10 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles Teller ... Sutter
Shailene Woodley ... Aimee
Brie Larson ... Cassidy
Masam Holden ... Ricky
Dayo Okeniyi ... Marcus
Kyle Chandler ... Tommy
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Sara
Nicci Roessler ... Tara (as Nicci Faires)
Ava-Marie London Ava-Marie London ... Bethany (as Ava London)
Whitney Goin ... Aimee's Mom
Andre Royo ... Mr. Aster
Bob Odenkirk ... Dan
Mary Elizabeth Winstead ... Holly
Levi Miller Levi Miller ... Erik Wolff
E. Roger Mitchell ... Doctor
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Storyline

Sutter Keely lives in the now. It's a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he's the life of the party, loves his job at a men's clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he's never far from his supersized, whiskey-fortified thirst-master cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter gets drunk and wakes up on a lawn with Aimee Finecky hovering over him. She's different: the "nice girl" who reads science fiction and doesn't have a boyfriend. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they're drawn together. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hits You Like A Shot In The Heart. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for alcohol use, language and some sexuality - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 September 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spectacular Now See more »

Filming Locations:

Athens, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$197,415, 4 August 2013

Gross USA:

$6,854,611

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,918,591
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director, he was worried that Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley wouldn't get along after he saw them interact at a lunch he arranged. Teller (who was late to meeting because he had been in Las Vegas with friends the night before) was outgoing and energetic, while Woodley, though amused by Teller, was quiet and for the most part kept to herself unless she was spoken to. After the lunch was over and the director was driving away, he noticed Woodley and Teller talking in the parking lot, but decided to leave them alone - he later found out that the two of them spent two hours talking and getting to know each other in the parking lot. Teller and Woodley are now close friends. See more »

Goofs

When Sutter and Holly are talking on her porch, Holly is looking up in some shots as though Sutter is higher than her (standing?) whereas in others he is looking straight at Holly and not down like he would be if he was standing (or higher). Both their heads are level with the same part of the chairs they are sitting on. See more »

Quotes

Sutter: As long as I can remember, I've never not been afraid. Afraid of failure... of letting people down... hurting people... getting hurt. I thought if I kept my guard up and focused on other things, other people... if I couldn't even feel it, well then no harm would come to me. I screwed up. Not only did I shut out the pain, I shut out everything - the good and the bad - until there was nothing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Divergent (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby
Written by Donnie Charles Emerson, Joseph Glen Emerson
Performed by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Courtesy of 4AD Ltd.
By arrangement with Beggars Group Media Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rare worthy entry into teen Dramedy genre
15 August 2013 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Coming-of-age teen dramas with a comedic flair that speak to that tumultuous period of life are rarely worthy of discussion. The exceptions hover film greatness: Rebel Without a Cause, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused, The Breakfast Club, and Say Anything ... Along comes young director James Ponsoldt and his adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel. While not perfect and falling just short of the level of those classics, it is nonetheless a welcome addition and quite interesting.

It's tempting to call Sutter (played by up-and-comer Miles Teller) a happy-go-lucky kid. He's the frat boy type - quick with a quip, smooth with the parents and girls, and the envy of the masses. That term would be misapplied to a kid who not only is never without his flask, but also gives them as gifts. He uses his wit and booze to dull the pain of his aimless existence. We see his lackadaisical efforts at completing a college admission form, and it's used as a plot device to track Sutter's progression through the film.

Brie Larson is terrific as Sutter's perfect match ... right up until she decides that his philosophy of living in the now (even spectacularly) doesn't leave hope for much of a future. After an extreme night of drinking and partying, Sutter gets awakened while laying in a neighbor's front yard. Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) is Aimee Finicky who recognizes the popular Sutter, even though he has no idea who she is. Slowly, the two connect on a level previously unknown to either ... some good, some not so wise (just like real teenagers).

This couple of opposites learn much from each other, and soon enough, Sutter is confronting his long last father (Kyle Chandler). No real surprises what he discovers, but it's a life lesson that must be learned. Sutter seeks more from his remaining family - a big sister (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who escaped the grind, and a workaholic mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh) doing her best to provide hope for Sutter.

The script is co-written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber who also wrote (500) Days of Summer. John Hughes and Cameron Crowe proved they could present teen dilemmas in an entertaining way, and this one follows the same structure. This is a dialogue-heavy story as Sutter and Aimee struggle alone and together to figure out life's next steps.

I will say that for the first few minutes of the movie, I found Sutter to be the kind of guy that I would typically have no interest in. Tip of the cap to the filmmakers and Miles Teller for turning that around. It should also be noted that Shailene Woodley is so naturally affecting, that her character never comes across as anything but sincere. Given the state of today's mainstream coming of age stories, this one definitely deserves a look and could gather some attention come awards time.


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