*Beware of Spoilers*
So I saw The Spectacular Now last week and I can’t stop thinking about it.
I can’t stop thinking about Sutter and his dad and his drinking problem and how much he cares about people.
I can’t stop thinking about Aimee and her mom and her shyness and how understanding she is about people.
The characters meet at six in the morning on a neighborhood lawn after Sutter (Miles has gone on a binge-drinking rampage, too out of it to find his way home. After spending the morning with Aimee on her paper route, Sutter decides he wants to take Aimee under his wing, teach her the ways of a “successful” high schooler, who isn’t afraid to swear or drink or yell; he wants her to live in the moment, and that moment is now.
It’s not a “She’s All That” situation where the Sutter tries to prettify Aimee, try and turn her into the prom queen; Sutter just wants Aimee to realize how spectacular she is.
Sutter is the kid in high school that made everything better – boring classes, parties, and even paper routes – with his charm inability to be embarrassed. He has his faults, too, but what makes him different than most is that he genuinely cares about his friends and family and people he doesn’t even know, people like Aimee.
Aimee is a character for the quiet ones – before Sutter, she never had a boyfriend, been to a high school party, or been on an adventure. She has been through quiet tragedies (her dad overdosing, her mom taking advantage of her, her best friend bossing her around) but still finds a reason to smile.
The director (James Ponsoldt) and writers (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who also wrote 500 Days of Summer) share Sutter and Aimee’s most intimate moments together, revealing even more about the characters with each conversation, smile, and embrace. It’s everything high school was and still is – awkward and scarred and sweat-stained, but still spectacular.