The summer movie seasons ends Labor Day Weekend. All the big budgets hits and flops have made their bow. “The Lone Ranger” has ridden off into the sunset.
It is usually at this time that we begin to see some high quality adult fare. Films like Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” “The Way, Way Back” and “The Butler” all demonstrate there’s a light at the end of the comic book topic tunnel, especially when it comes to personal stories and relationships drama.
In the new film “The Spectacular Now,” Miles Teller plays Sutter, a self-absorbed high school senior who lives only for today and sips booze all day through a straw in a soda cup. As he says, the only thing he’s serious about is not being serious with anyone. His Dad disappeared when Sutter was small. Sutter lives with his Mom, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Sutter is cruising his way through life when circumstances find him meeting a girl named Aimee, played by Shailane Woodley. Aimee is a sweetheart, the kind of girl you keep. Aimee will win the hearts of every guy who sees this motion picture. Like Sutter, Aimee has a fractured family life too. Together, the seemingly polar opposite pair share more than even they understand.
A reunion with Sutter’s long lost father, played very convincingly by Kyle Chandler, heightens Sutter’s need for a committed person like Aimee in his life.
“The Spectacular Now” is brilliantly performed by a cast of working actors with consummate abilities. It’s a story that is sensitive, yet hard-hitting emotionally. It is about avoiding commitments and the damage a fractured family can do. The film’s resolution is real, but don’t expect a necessarily happy ending. With Sutter, you never know how things will end up. Neither does Sutter.