All parent member reviews for The Spectacular Now

Parents say

(out of 6 reviews)
age 15+
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Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written byOlenka August 24, 2013

Spectacular acting, but a spectacular bummer about today's youth

Both main characters are tragic. The boy, for obvious reasons once you see the film. The girl, even more so, for being incredibly desperate and willing to do anything to secure this boy's love. The personalized flask was disturbing to me, as was the excessive swearing by the teens. A great movie to take older teens to so they can see how NOT to behave. Acting was superb but depressing on many fronts. I truly hope teens like these are more of an anomoly than the norm in high schools today.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byalisonmarie August 30, 2013

A beautiful, dark story with a good heart

i had read this book a while back and when i found out they were making a movie, i was ecstatic. sutter + aimee's story is not one for the weary. it's dark and poignant, romantic, intense. i brought my teenage daughter (15) with me because, without giving anything away, i knew the movie was going to have a few sexual situations + lots of drinking/swearing, but i also knew at its very core, was going to have a great heart. my daughter didn't like this movie. she loved it. she fell in love with aimee + sutter's relationship. she cried when they fought. she related to their ups and downs as a couple. she understood why they made the choices they did, and that made me realize i made the right choice taking her with me to the screening. i rated this "on" for 15 and up, and here's what you need to know. there is a brief sex scene early on with sutter and his ex-girlfriend. it's kind of graphic but, again, fleeting. there is another sex scene that occurs in the first half of the movie; this one is much lengthier and intense. they show the couple retrieving a condom, putting on the condom, taking off their clothes, a glimpse of breast and a bit of thrusting. sutter is a functioning alcoholic, and his behavior is erratic. he drinks and drives, shows up to work loaded, and there are a few party scenes and bar scenes where people are drinking heavily and doing shots. there is tons of "f**k" and "s**t" and everything in between. i would say the language itself highly contributed to the R-rating. lastly, although this story has a good heart, as i mentioned earlier, it's also very sad and very dark at times. that's not a bad thing, but it might be too heavy for some. there are strained relationships with the main characters' parents, and the alcoholism becomes more of an issue as the story wears on. however, i think this gives you more of an opportunity to have a good conversation with your teen about all of the above. allow them to be open and honest with you and ask them questions; i took a cue from the suggested discussion topics here (on common sense media) to talk to my daughter about on the way home and we ended up having a really great conversation. lastly, aside from everything i mentioned above, the other lovely dimension to this movie were the actors' ability to make you believe in and fall in love with the characters. miles teller was superb in his role as sutter keely. he makes you laugh at him and adore him and be furious at him all at once. shailene woodley (who my daughter recognized from the show 'the secret life of the american teenager') is a lovable, honest, beautiful aimee. teller and woodley's chemistry alone make the movie worth watching; throw in the amazing little story/script and you have a winner. i would highly recommend this movie for some parent-teen daughter/son bonding. take your teen to dinner and a movie and revel for a few hours in the joys of what it's like to be a senior in high school again :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bywonder dove January 1, 2014

Pretty likable...

The Spectacular Now was quite likable but not as great nor different as I was hoping. The R-rated teen film is far better and more appropriate than any other R-rated teen films right now. That being said, it's your typical girl meets boy, boy changes girl, boy falls for girl and becomes a couple, couple gets in a fight, girl forgives boy kind of movie but it's not a comedy, it's a romantic drama with high school teen issues. Nothing really new here and nothing really spectacular about it, however, the two leads Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley played teenagers very realistically, the acting was spot-on and the story is worthy so I give it 3.5 stars. Here we meet popular, alcoholic party boy Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) who gets his heart broken by his perfect long time girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) and gets incredibly drunk one evening and finds himself passed out on someones front lawn, he is woken up in the morning by sweet faced Aimee (Shailene Woodley), a plain high school girl doing her paper delivery. They bond and are soon hanging out together on a regular basis and getting to know more about each other like Sutter's idea of living in the now, who knows where life will take him. He tries to change Aimee by getting her to drink like him and not be afraid to use coarse language. Finally, Sutter kisses Aimee and a relationship blossoms, but Sutter is Aimee's first boyfriend. Sutter takes her with him to meet his estranged father whom he learns isn't quite what he was expecting and true emotions start to surface. There is a lot of drinking throughout because Sutter is an alcoholic, spiking his every drink with alcohol and even has Aimee develop the same habit. There is also drinking and driving on some occasions and smoking. The language includes lots of f-words in various forms (I'd say about 20), also uses of sh*t, @sshole, hell, d@mn, p*ssy, plenty of religious exclamations like Godd@mn, Christ's sake, oh-my-God, Jesus...etc. Violence includes some family arguments and situations, teen driving while drunk and almost crashing and a character gets hit by a bus and she ends up in the hospital. Sexual content includes a quick flashback scene of a characters girlfriend thrusting on top of him during sex but not explicit. A girl sleeps with her boyfriend for the first time - we see them undress on a bed, he puts on a condom and rolls on top of her (the scene is a bit lengthy but not explicit showing a partial breast). A character tells his shy friend that he'll get him some "sweet, sweet action" as he tries to hook him up with girls. Some other remarks throughout. References to a father cheating on his wife while married. Older teens will most definitely enjoy this movie as much as some adults...I'd recommend it to ages 15 and up only.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 14 and 17 year old Written byGeorgia Wilson March 28, 2015
Adult Written bysarge123 January 25, 2015

A fine romance film that transcends Hollywood cliches. Some language and sex. 15+

One realistic (not in a graphic sense) sex scene which takes place in one long shot. The characters engage in safe, but not graphic sex. The couple is under a sheet, so nudity is limited to a VERY quick glimpse of the females nipple. Swearing includes multiple uses of the F-Word (sometimes paired with "mother") and other lesser swear-words. The film covers alcoholism, but makes it clear that it's use is negatively impacting the characters. In the end it is implied that the alcoholic character has sobered up. The film offers a realistic look at teen romance and stays away from cliches and tropes popular in Hollywood rom-coms.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 June 2, 2014

THE most realistic teen romance I've seen!

While there is a bit of swearing and one realistic sex scene that will make this a no-no for watching with parents, "The Spectacular Now" lives up to its title, it is an excellent, observant and genuine of teenage love and romance. There are no stock characters: technically Sutter is the "party boy" and Aimee is the "quiet girl," but Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley elevate them so they're living, breathing characters you care for, don't like sometimes, and love at others. I loved it, and if anyone has ever been in a teenage romance, they'll know director James Ponsoldt hit the nail on the head.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing