Leon van Nierop
2 minute read
21 Mar 2014
10:00 am

Movie review: The Spectacular Now

Leon van Nierop

Ever since she appeared in The Descendants, Shailene Woodley's name has been on everybody's lips.

Rising stars Shailene Woodley (left) and Miles Teller star in The Spectacular Now. Pictures: Supplied.

Attracting attention under the guidance of director Alexander Payne and starring opposite George Clooney, she was a success waiting to happen with her unique, tranquil, beautiful face and hypnotic eyes that seem to suggest that she knows everything about you.

Miles Teller almost stole the show in the remake of Footloose as Kenny Wormald’s geeky friend who learns to dance, and there already one could spot a talent in the wings. Now these two stars get a chance to shine together in a romantic teenage drama with a difference.

the spectacular now

Picture: supplied

The Spectacular Now concerns a young man who lives for “now”. His life is spectacularly empty. He has a girlfriend, enough alcohol to start his own shebeen and an attitude that makes him streetwise and sexy, almost like a young John Cusack. After passing out from over-partying, he meets an ordinary, but at the same time subtly different girl who lives for the future. Will dreams and the spectacular now ever meet halfway to initiate a great relationship?

The Spectacular Now investigates teenage problems in a fresh, new way – perhaps not with as much straight-faced honesty as The Way, Way Back, but still with sincerity and responsibility. It tries to repair the damage done by a slew of recent teenage comedies that poked fun at teenage angst or damaged perceptions of teens in general. Not that this film shies away from problems like sex, drugs, alcohol and rock and roll, but that’s not all there is. It is actually quite a comprehensive study of what attracts two vastly different souls and how compromise, the accepting of responsibility and good old-fashioned love can bring people together.

It is a love story for a modern generation that is trying to reconnect with a teenage genre that has been sorely neglected by Hollywood filmmakers recently. It deserves every accolade it gets.