With sly humor and an intensity of feeling, THE SPECTACULAR NOW (directed by James Ponsoldt) creates a vivid, three-dimensional portrait of youth confronting the funny, thrilling and perilous business of modern love and adulthood. This is the tale of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a high school senior and effortless charmer, and of how he unexpectedly falls in love with “the good girl” Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley). What starts as an unlikely romance becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth – one that doesn’t look for tidy truths. The film was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber (500) DAYS OF SUMMER and also features wonderful supporting turns from Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. (c) a24 Films
First of all, I would like to give a big hand to the actors in this movie, they did a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life. I really loved the book by Tim Tharp, and was a bit worried that the movie wouldn’t do it justice, but it did, it really did.
I think that the movie was paced perfectly, so that when it became too serious there were funny moments to lighten it up, and vice versa. If you are looking for a fun, easy film to watch…don’t watch this one. It’s an emotional roller coaster.
That’s it for the non-spoiler section, so if you haven’t watched the movie, I highly recommend watching it before reading on. Or you can spoil yourself, it doesn’t matter to me haha.
Let’s start with the biggest change from book to movie, the ending. Holy crap, I kept checking how much time was left to make sure that they would have ample time to have a proper closure. We were left off with Sutter going up to Aimee, and though that seems like a painful ending, it’s a lot better than the book’s, which left Sutter drinking in a bar. I don’t know which ending I like better, because even though the movie’s ending was more hopeful, the book’s ending was jarring, and left a really big impact on me. But I love both endings, just like I love both versions.
Just like any book to movie adaptation, they cut out a lot of the scenes, which most of them, I was okay with. However, I feel like cutting out some of Aimee’s more intense scenes, like the time she told Sutter how she wasn’t a virgin, was something that should have been kept in. I understand that they didn’t want the movie to be too dark and depressing, which is get, because the whole movie is about living in the moment, but I think it would have added to Aimee’s character depth and her relationship with Sutter more.
I liked Sutter and Aimee’s relationship in the movie, but it wasn’t as spectacular to me as it was in the book. Almost to the end of the film, it seemed like he still had a thing for Cassie, which made his love for Aimee not seem as important.
One thing that I think the movie did better was the car crash scene. I was expecting it, because I’d read the book, but watching it gave me chills. The whole scene with the yelling and the getting out of the car, it was hauntingly perfect. It’s definitely my favorite scene from the whole movie, it was amazingly shot and directed.
In conclusion, I loved the movie, and I’m not sure which one I like better, because they were both perfect. Let me know what you think in the comments!