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The Spectacular Now
“The Spectacular Now” is a cleareyed, disarmingly tender teenage romance that bears comparison with the best of its genre, both old (“Say Anything”) and new (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”). You knew a guy like Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) in high school — the class cut-up everyone loves and nobody can rely on — and the character’s relationship with Aimee (Shailene Woodley), one of those quiet classmates no one ever sees, has moments of privileged grace.
In its unassuming fashion, the movie’s a response to the John Hughes philosophy that high school is the sum of its social niches. Instead, director James Ponsoldt offers the novel proposition that we’re more alike than different and that our ordinariness is something to be celebrated, not spurned.