Screened as part of NZIFF 2013
This Sundance hit is a blessedly unaffected high school romance enacted with lovely directness by a superb duo of young performers. Miles Teller stars as a popular, all-round likeable boy whose easy-going charm may be more dependent on the hip flask in his pocket than he or anyone else realises. When his girlfriend tires of the good times, an unlikely new romance dawns with a much more introspective and conservative girl (Shailene Woodley). Teller and Woodley shared acting honours at Sundance for their roles.
“Director James Ponsoldt has the uncanny ability to travel along well-worn cinematic paths and make them feel fresh again... He does the same miraculous thing with this young adult coming-of-age drama, gracefully confronting dependency in its many forms. Lead actor Miles Teller is a revelation, winning our sympathies even as we bristle at his choices. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and
Michael Weber ((500) Days of Summer) compose a convincing whirlwind romance that’s filled with dialogue that pops with personality and emotions that sock you in the stomach.” — Jeff Meyers, The Stranger
“Teller, cute but not traditionally handsome… makes Sutter uniquely irresistible, and the chemistry he has with co-star Woodley, who brings a perfect repertoire of nervous giggles and awkward mannerisms to her in-bloom Aimee, is so authentic that if somebody could promise not to ruin it, we would beg for The Spectacular Now to be turned into a television series so that we could watch them some more… [It is] is a smaller film than Say Anything, Dazed and Confused, Breakfast Club, etc, but it belongs in the canon.” — Phoebe Reilly, Spin