2013 / Director. James Ponsoldt.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I knew very little about THE SPECTACULAR NOW prior to seeing it but the cover art and synopsis had me sold. The film begins like a typical frat-house style of comedy. Parties, keg taps and beer pong... in fact the star of the film (and the centre of all of this action) is Miles Teller, who starred in 21 & OVER and PROJECT X. This is the type of schtick we've come to expect from him and in many ways THE SPECTACULAR NOW is almost a serious sequel to 21 & OVER. Always drunk, ever the "fun guy" and a heart bigger than Texas he is a tormented soul and doesn't even know it. He meets a nerdy girl and falls in love with her. Their love is strong, although they reach mutual ground at a different pace to one another. The film then takes these characters on a journey of discovery. He is struggling to find his identity and place in the world while she knows exactly what she wants and is determined to succeed. This is a very smart film and the script is wonderfully written. It is as much a teen comedy as it is a dramatic romance. Miles Teller delivers a sterling performance and has, no doubt, silenced a lot of critics. This guy can act and from a quick IMDb search it's clear that his career is going places. He's set to star in the new FANTASTIC FOUR movie as well as play Dan Aykroyd in the upcoming John Belushi biopic. The female lead is played by Shailene Woodley who also starred in THE DESCENDANTS (amongst a heap more) and she is really lovely too. They both give heartfelt and genuine performances, which lift this film above the typical teen movie. It's a movie with smarts and has a lot of depth. Every generation has a few truly solid and significant coming-of-age films and the current generation are lucky to have some really decent ones like this. THE KINGS OF SUMMER, THE WAY WAY BACK and MUD are a few others that offer today's teens something more substantial and true. I wish I had seen it sooner... I loved it and highly recommend you see it.