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10th Anniversary TLDR: The Spectacular Now (2013)
One of A24's earliest efforts.
Plot: Sutter, a popular party animal unexpectedly meets the introverted Aimee after waking up on a stranger’s lawn. As Sutter deals with the problems in his life and Aimee plans for her future beyond school, an unexpected romance blossoms between them.
Direction: James Ponsoldt helms one of A24's first films. Spectacular? I'm not sure.
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber also wrote (500) Days of Summer, which I almost can't believe. That movie makes terrible people very pleasant. This movie just forces you to hang out with people who do nothing but make terrible decisions, be mean to people to love them, and drink their days away. Though, maybe that's the point...
Performances: Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are in the early parts of their career, still working out their personas. Woodley is the girl-next-door and Teller is the douchebag (he's particularly unlikeable here), but they'll both do those things better in other performances. It also has an insanely deep bench of supporting performances: Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler as Tommy Keely, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bob Odenkirk, and Kaitlyn Dever.
Best moment: Sutter’s reunion with his father touched me a lot more this time around.
Fun fact: There are 44 entries on the IMDB Trivia page and nine of them are about the sex scenes and/or nudity. People are creepy and have too much time.
Imaginary accolade: Most Impressive Avoidance of the Trademarked Term ‘Big Gulp'
Everything is too long. Is it too long? 95 minutes, no complaints on that front.
Rating: This movie came out when I was 16. The trailer spoke to me. It felt like something that I needed in my life. I waited and waited and waited as it made the indie theatre rounds in cities bigger than my hometown. When it finally came, I went immediately. It was the first movie I ever went to alone - I didn’t want anyone else to ruin it for me. I was so disappointed. It felt like it was made by adults who forgot what it was like to be my age, the age of the characters. It was cynical in a way that only adults understand. Revisiting this ten years later, I was hoping that I was wrong. I was not.
What am I missing? Roger Ebert: four stars. Richard Roeper: four stars. Owen Gleiberman: "one of the rare truly soulful and authentic teen movies." Seriously, what am I missing?
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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