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Spectacular Now, The

Director:  James Ponsoldt
Year Released:  2013
Rating:  2.5

Cocksure high school senior Sutter (Miles Teller), being raised by his mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and dealing with an alcohol problem, gets dumped by beloved girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) and rebounds with the shy comic book fan Aimee (Shailene Woodley), who dreams of running off to Philadelphia to go to college. While it hits many of the familiar beats of the other teen movies, there's something somber and achingly real to this: Sutter just wants to have 'fun,' but when he finally meets up with his father (Kyle Chandler), an irresponsible barfly, he realizes he's headed down the same road and upset by it. Teller and Woodley not only have fine chemistry together, they also elevate the source material, making it easy to root for them despite the obstacles and emotional turmoil (the concluding 'smile' doesn't leave me with the warm fuzzies; alcoholism isn't cured with a kiss).

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