By Don Simpson | August 20, 2013
Sutter (Miles Teller) is the token “fun guy” of his high school senior class. Whether or not it is his perpetual alcohol-fueled buzz that makes him that way depends on who you ask; but considering that it has been a while since Sutter has been sober, it might be difficult to find someone who can actually speak to that. The problem is there is only so far that being the “fun guy” can get you. Even his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) is ready to move on and find someone whose future spans further than his next swig.
When Cassidy breaks up with him, Sutter commences an alcoholic binge that only a very lucky person could survive. Luckily for Sutter, he is a very lucky guy. The aftermath of one such binge finds him passed out on a random front yard of Aimee’s (Shailene Woodley) paper route. Aimee — one of the class geeks — has flown under Sutter’s radar until this very moment; but, thankful for Aimee’s angelic assistance that morning, Sutter befriends her under the pretense of trying to save her from an overbearing mother.
Despite its ability to break down the social and class barriers between Aimee and Sutter, we can only assume that alcohol — or Sutter’s immaturity — will eventually come between them. Something horrible seems to be lingering on their horizon, but there is no way of knowing exactly what it is. It is the incredibly powerful final act that really puts the “wow!” into The Spectacular Now. This is a story that could go a million different ways, but this film’s conclusion abides by the same surprisingly high level of realism that commands the rest of the film.
After being blown away by the dramatic prowess of The Spectacular Now at Sundance 2013 (here’s my 9 out of 10 review), I have been anxious to chat with director James Ponsoldt about it. Luckily, the Austin Film Society recently brought Ponsoldt to Austin for a preview screening of The Spectacular Now and I finally had the chance to sit down and do just that. It was a spectacularly fun conversation, so you should check it out…