Excerpt: The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt’s new teen drama (based on Tim Tharp’s novel), gets it exactly, positively right. I was in high school something like two decades ago, but there are scenes, moments, and dialogue in this film that ring so true that it all comes rushing back, a flood of memories and emotions and a little bit of pain.
Excerpt: Everything about this film is special, director James Ponsoldt (“Smashed”) pitching the material so acutely that he’s able to bring us to the brink of tragedy and pull back into an ending full of open-hearted hope.
Excerpt: What a wonderful movie this is. What a breath of fresh air after an onslaught of superficial teen movies about mad slashers and party animals. What a joy it is, for once, to experience a love story about two teenagers whose passion is driven by mutual attraction.
Excerpt: It is the incredibly powerful final act that really puts the “wow!” into The Spectacular Now. This is a story that could go a million different ways, but this film’s conclusion abides by the same surprisingly high level of realism that commands the rest of the film.
Excerpt: So it’s somewhat gratifying to watch The Spectacular Now, which captures a troubled teenage life confidently and honestly through its portrayal of a romance on the edge of a nervous breakdown.