Friday, February 28, 2014

The Spectacular Now

An aimless, alcoholic high school senior (Miles Teller) has just been broken up with by his "totally amazing" girlfriend (Brie Larson), who sees him as a stumbling block to success. In response he attends a party, gets wrecked, and is woken up on a totally unfamiliar lawn the following morning by a sweet natured girl next door type (Shailene Woodley) whom he quickly falls in love with. James Ponsoldt's honest and observant teenage romance is slightly underwritten yet is incredibly well photographed with a great cinematic eye. Though Teller gives his best effort and succeeds in being moderately engaging, he is miscast and not exactly believable in his demanding role. On the other hand, Ms. Woodley is absolutely delightful appearing unvarnished and demonstrating both her character's inner and outer beauty. A somewhat worrisome quibble that arises, although the film makes a clear effort not to preach or judge its characters, is in sending out mixed or undefined messages on issues raised of both teenage alcoholism and codependency.