Where to begin? Well, like Public Enemy said, "Don't Believe The Hype." I guess that was my first problem. I figured a movie that both friends and critics raved about (with an astonishing 93% on Rotten Tomatoes! WTF?) must be good. Well fuck me for assuming. Had I gone into this screening blind, having only seen the trailer earlier this summer, I might have walked out merely disappointed...instead of fucking livid.
So what's up with this film? Why did The Spectacular Now rub me so raw? Well, the script is hokey (boring, contrived, lazy), the acting is bad (Characters? No. Caricatures? Yes.) and the direction is flat. Like, Kevin Smith "shooting two people in front of a wall talking," flat. I can handle lame dialogue/plot. I can tolerate ham-fisted performances, but if that's the case then at least give me something to look at dude. When a film drops the ball on all three levels, that's when I shut down and have Episode I flashbacks.
|Smarmy Douche: The Movie.|
Don't get me wrong, it is possible to enjoy a film with unlikeable characters. Pain & Gain and Spring Breakers both centered on psychotic narcissists but were entertaining films because they didn't try to force the audience to relate to their asshole protagonists. Like I said before, if the plot and characters are fucked, you better have some sick visual style to win the viewer over with. Alas, The Spectacular Now fails here. Hardcore. I know this is a mega low budget indie film, but with today's technology, there is no excuse for such shoddy imagery on screen. The whole film just looks dark and dingy. Even Mud which takes place in a fucking swamp looked more pristine. I understand not every film can look as gorgeous as The Place Beyond The Pines, but if you want us to sympathize with a smarmy douche like Sutter, aka: the drunk driving captain of the world, how about some thought provoking/haunting shots like THIS huh?
So that's that. The Spectacular Now: the most infuriating movie of the summer. Remember what Chuck D said about hype? He was referring to this trailer.