Friday, August 16, 2013

The Spectacular Now


Writer/Director James Ponsoldt seems to have the secret for great filmmaking.  Last year he surprised me with a little seen film about alcoholism called 'Smashed' that could have been movie-of-the-week schmaltzy but was actually one of the finest films of the year.  And now he's done it again with the coming-of-age dramedy, 'The Spectacular Now'.  Though credit is clearly also due to writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, best known for their brilliant romantic dramedy, '(500) Days of Summer'.  Add in Miles Teller from teen party films '21 & Over' and 'Project X', and Shailene Woodley who was lauded for her role in 'The Descendants', and you have the dream team for a small independent film.  It's charming, poignant, honest, and feels fresh and original.  It's really a model for coming-of-age dramedies and you should definitely see it.  (Now if only Ponsoldt, Neustadter, and Weber would share their secrets with their less talented peers, my job would be even better.)

Grade: A

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