Not “Spectacular” but still quite good

The Spectacular Now isn’t spectacular, but it’s quite good and a realistic, welcome break from the typical coming-of-age film. It gets 3 ½ stars (on my 0-5 scale). Refreshingly non-formulaic in parts, it does lurch toward contrivance toward the end, but it still leaves an emotional impact. Miles Teller is good at playing “dead behind the eyes,” portraying a numbness toward life, while Shailene Woodley continues to grow as an actress. (I see her developing into a rival of Jennifer Lawrence.) And Kyle Chandler is equally effective as the father.

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