THE SPECTACULAR NOW
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson
I am a sucker for these types of "coming of age" or "growing into adulthood" type movies especially when they actually feature smart characters going through realistic situations. It is that time in your life when you are a senior in high school and you need to come to terms with what your next path in the life will be after you graduate. Sutter Keely (Teller) faces that exact problem as he starts to fill out those infamous college applications. I think we have all had to think about some experience that had a profound affect on our lives and talk about how we overcame such trouble. He starts writing about his recent break-up with the love of his life, Cassidy (Larson). A profanity laced response about a break-up is probably not the best response to a college entrance essay.
Sutter lives in the "now". He is always the life of the party with a big cocktail in his hand. Unfortunately, he typically has one too many cocktais on a reoccuring basis. On one occasion he decides to drive home but plows into the mailbox when he reaches home. After another all-nighter, he is awoken by Aimee Finecky (Woodley) after passing out in the middle of someone's yard. She has more of an innocent nature about her than Sutter does. She has never had a boyfriend, has ambitions for her future, and delivers the daily newspaper to her neighbors even though that is her mom's job. An ease and comfortable report naturally occurs between them in their first enoounter. A romantic adventure follows as these two opposites attract. Sutter is quick to point out that Aimee is "not a rebound."
I pretty sure that anytime Kyle Chandler pops up in a movie it elevates the movie even more. Even if the movie is already great or he has a bit part, the movie is even better after he graces the screen. Chandler grows some scruff and shaggy hair to play the deadbeat dad to Miles Teller's character. He does not have a lot of screen time, but it is a far different character for him than say Coach Taylor on "Friday Night Lights". I cannot forget to mention that the fantastic Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Sutter's mom. Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller shine with every moment they are on-screen. You will recognize her from The Descendants and him from the Footloose remake and Rabbit Hole. There is such an easy flow and natural chemistry between the two of them. The dialogue and sparks seemed to flow so effortlessly I often wonder how much of it was improvised between them or if they stuck pretty closely to the script. I look forward to their future projects. Woodley has quite a bit on her plate right now, and both of them will be appearing in this spring's Divergent.