Archive | 10:03 AM

‘The Spectacular Now’ Movie Review

17 Apr

Image via Movie Poster Shop

I’ve been watching a lot of movies based on books lately! It’s been a good way for me to relax while school has been crazy. I watch them in two or three chunks which drives my husband crazy and ensures I get to watch them alone! I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw the trailer for The Spectacular Now so I had to watch the movie right away!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The narration as a college essay. I was wondering how the writers would get Sutter’s strong voice to influence the story but using a college essay at the beginning and end was a great way to get his personality across and emphasize how he changed. Kudos!

Sutter’s dad. This wasn’t awesome in a way that means ‘cool’ but in a way that means ‘well done, writers.’ I hated Mr. Keely even more in the movie than I did in the book and he was pretty terrible in both. How little he cares about seeing his son after so many years is really depressing and seeing him go back to the bar instead of home to see Sutter was infuriating. I understood Sutter’s anger better and why Aimee was more worried about Sutter than herself after the car accident.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying his relationship with Holly. The opening when Sutter sets a fire in Holly’s house set the tone well for how combative the two would be and helped the reader understand why Holly is so reluctant to give Sutter his dad’s information. I think implying they didn’t have a lot in common and the obvious age gap between them was enough and I’m glad they took it out.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Aimee’s drinking. The amount Aimee drank and the problems she started running into with drinking were a major message in the book. I felt this was a bit glossed over in favor of Sutter’s drinking problems in the film. Book Aimee is drinking to excess and getting sick from it while movie Aimee is having a few drinks to have fun but seems to be encouraging Sutter more than anything else. I think the change in Aimee was a big part of the book ending. With the ending change (see below), it makes a bit more sense the way the movie went.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. I didn’t like it. (Major spoilers for the rest of this paragraph.) In the book, Sutter had Aimee leave because it was best for her. He didn’t have his own things sorted out but knew she was in a good place and was set up to succeed in life. He recognized that he was a boost she needed to reach her goals. In the movie, he just abandons her and she almost stays for him but at the last minute, she goes anyway. I thought this was really against the book’s idea of pushing her out of the nest. Especially when he shows up in Philly to see her! That really rubbed me the wrong way. Book Sutter realized she needed him for a time and that time was over. Movie Sutter wanted to fix his own mistake and get back with her. I didn’t like the change, it made me lose some respect for Sutter.

Cassidy and Krystal. Small, but a Hollywood change I didn’t like. Cassidy and Krystal were fat! It was in the book, multiple times in Cassidy’s case. But in the movie, because Hollywood and women, they’re rail thin. I would have loved a curvaceous Cassidy and I was really hoping it would happen, but no dice. Drats.

This was a fun book and a good movie. Except for the ending, I thought the two were rather comparable. Reader, have you seen The Spectacular Now movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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