I had the opportunity to see the movie The Spectacular Now at the Roger Ebert film festival on April 20, 2013. I was simply amazed. Roger Ebert was on the nose when he described this film as showing young adults in a realistic manner. I was not, however, prepared for how real this movie felt.
The movie made me feel like a voyeur. I was looking into such private moments that I felt a part of the story. The camera shots were sometimes uncomfortably close. Despite my age I can still remember being a teenager. I remember how intense everything felt. This movie reminded the viewer of that intensity.
The lead character Sutter Keely is the life of the party. He is always living for the moment. He was rarely sober and struggled with his father being gone and his mother working all the time. After his girlfriend breaks up with him he does what he always does and gets drunk. He wakes up in the yard of an introverted girl named Aimee. They form an unlikely couple.
Somehow they both help each other confront the problems they have been avoiding for a lifetime It is unclear if Sutter truly cares for Aimee or if he is just living for the moment. Throughout the movie the viewer is confronted with the concern that Sutter will end up hurting Aimee.
In addition I was concerned that Sutter was going to hurt himself? It is unclear if Sutter was more then just a drunk kid avoiding life. Sutter is a guy viewers have to care about but often wonder why. His mother reminds us that he has a big heart.
What happens in this movie is not as important as the way it makes the viewer feel. It makes you feel happy, sad, confused and young again. It is a reminder of the intensity of youth. It is also a reminder that coming of age is not an easy journey.
I didn’t get to sit through the question and answer session with Director James Ponsoldt and actress Shailene Woodley but appreciate there coming to Champaign. It was a wonderful night at the Virginia Theater and a spectacular movie. It was more than a Spectacular Now however since that movie will remain with me well into the future. It was the best movie I have seen thus far in 2013.