Movie: The Spectacular Now
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writers: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Rating: ♥ ♥ ½
Read the The Spectacular Now book review!
Remind me what it’s about…
Basically Sutter Keely is a pretty cool kid but he has no future. He loves fun, parties, drinks, girls and not much else. After his girlfriend dumps him, he drinks too much and ends up on a stranger’s lawn where Aimee finds him. She’s his classmate but they’ve never met because she’s a bit of an outsider to the social scene. Sutter decides to help her out by taking her to a party but things don’t quite as he planned.
What did you think?
I liked it. It was really well cast and I especially loved Teller as Sutter. Teller and Woodley were really cute together in the movie and I loved their chemistry. They’re even an adorable couple IRL (see: #17). But other than that the movie was only okay. Much like the book, it was a pretty average but not unenjoyable.
Was it a good adaption?
Yes. There’s always more details in the books that movies can’t capture, but overall the movie was very true to the book. There were of course things that happened in the book that were cut out of the movie, but that’s expected; if the movie included everything in the book, it would be way too long. I think the writers did a really good job of deciding what to keep and what to leave out of the movie.
The biggest difference between the book and the movie is Sutter. It’s always hardest when the book is written from the first person perspective. It’s so much harder to convey Sutter’s motivations and reasoning in the movie, whereas in the book he straight up tells you. When you can get inside Sutter’s head, he’s a much more interesting character. While he’s unguided and frustrating in both, he felt a lot more vanilla to me in the movie. Even if I didn’t always agree with Sutter, when I was reading I at least understood where he was coming and that wasn’t always clear to me in the movie. But maybe I’m just being nit picky.
Should I watch it?
I wouldn’t try to dissuade you from watching, but I wouldn’t urge you to watch it either. Not worth a big investment but not a waste of time either, it’s on the fence.