‘The Spectacular Now’ disappoints with ambiguous plot

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Trisha Chaudhary

The Spectacular Now. Though the name promises “spectacular” things, the movie falls short of such guarantees. The dazzling reviews, charming trailers and talented actors make The Spectacular Now seem like the perfect romantic, teenage coming-of-age tale, one that might be cliche but would hopefully introduce a profound thought on the transition from teenagedom to adulthood.

The film stars Miles Teller (21 & Over) as Sutter, the popular and beloved senior with a “live in the moment, don’t worry about the future, get drunk!” outlook on life, who is the life of every party. Him and his girlfriend Cassidy, played by Brie Larson (21 Jump Street), are the perfect couple, the one that everyone loves. On the fateful night of their break-up, Sutter gets roaring drunk and finds himself passed out in a random neighborhood, being shaken awake by stranger, Aimee Finnecky. Aimee, played by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), is a sweet, naive girl who quickly falls for Sutter’s charm, and they become friends.

Though it would seem, from the description thus far, this movie is a typical ‘Prince and Me’ fairytale where the rich and popular boy falls for the poor, lower-status girl, and against all odds, they end up together, this is thankfully not the case. Rather, both Sutter and Aimee come from trying backgrounds, and, during the course of the movie, gain strength from each other to face their circumstances.

The whole film was strangely vague. One minute Aimee and Sutter were just friends, the next she liked him but he still liked Cassidy and the next Aimee and Sutter were dating. It was all confusing and the transitions were obscure. Through the events that occur in the movie (which I won’t reveal in an attempt to leave some air of mystery), one would think Sutter would mature from his borderline-alcoholic, impulsive and commitment-phobic teenage self into a responsible young adult, but even the ending is vague.

Some might say the point was to leave the ending up to the viewers’ imaginations, but there was almost no closure. There was no concrete timeline and length between events in movie, which also lacked good character development.

Characters like Sutter’s sister were randomly introduced and made appearances throughout the film, but their relevance or the reasons behind the ways they reacted to situations were unclear. And, to top it all off, Aimee’s mother, who played a central role in Aimee’s trying childhood, never even made an appearance. She was a name that lacked a face and a personality.
I wouldn’t recommend that you go spend $9 (ridiculous, I know, but the Ragtag’s prices are a topic for another time) to go see The Spectacular Now. This movie has been done before, and done better.
By Trisha Chaudhary