The Spectacular Now: Book vs. Movie (Spoilers)

Friday, March 4, 2015 is a day I kind of won’t forget because it has jacked my whole sleeping schedule up. My sister was coming back from a trip which required me and my mom to pick her up at 1 in the morning. That really jacked it up because I didn’t go to bed until 3:33 am. But that was the day I watch The Spectacular Now.

The Book:

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Author: Tim Tharp

Released: November 1, 2008

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 304 (Hardback)

Synopsis: SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually. Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever. tim tharp

About The Author: Tim Tharp lives in Oklahoma where he writes novels and teaches in the Humanities Department at Rose State College. In addition to earning a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from Brown University, Tim Tharp has been a factory hand, construction laborer, psychiatric aid, long-distance hitchhiker, and record store clerk. 

What Made Me Want To Read The Book: I’m not really sure what drew me into reading the book. To be totally honestly, I think it was the movie trailer. I saw the movie trailer during Divergent I want to say and I wanted to see the movie. I did some research and I find out there was a book. I read some reviews about the book and some of the stuff about the book and I enjoyed what I was reading. We were making a Walmart order near the time and we were already ordering Where She Went by: Gayle Foreman so I asked to get this book as well. I didn’t expect the cover to be as beautiful as it was so I couldn’t help myself from reading it.

Favorite Scene/Quote: My favorite scene actually happens near the beginning of the book. This is the only book I own which has a page sticky noted because it is way to perfect. I really have no idea why I enjoy it so much.

Chapter 15:

“Why don’t nobody love me!” I scream out the window as I speed down the street. “I got a nice car. I got a big dick. Why don’t nobody love me?”

The Spectacular Now by: Tim Tharp – Page 65

One Thing You Learned In The Book: There was one main message (or to get technical, theme) of the whole book: People don’t make you. You make you.

Through the who entire book, Sutter parties and drinks, and probably smokes some stuff but they really never say that. Sutter goes to school just to meet all those girls who he finds gorgeous and have sex with them later. Most of the time, he would have several girls at the same time and just use them for his own use. Sutter feels like since his dad could go and do it to his mom, he feels its okay to do it to other women. It isn’t til Aimee where Sutter sort of breaks out of the funk he is in and sort of sees what he has done. He was the one who ended the relationship with his ex Cassidy but wants to constantly get back together with her. Sutter has changed all these people, like Aimee, and he feels like he is his father when he meets him for the first time in years. Sutter sees what Aimee was there for, to show him it is okay to break down and care for a change. Sutter sees that it takes one person to change their mind by the end when he goes to the bar and he says his goodbyes to all these things including:

  • Aimee, Cassidy, and all the other girls he used and mistreated
  • To his Math teacher and the teacher’s complaining
  • Hangovers that last all through the day
  • His dad and second chances
  • High School Sutter

One Thing You Would Have Changed: Honestly, I would have changed a lot of the book. The one thing I would change for sure was actually have one of the girls Sutter messed around with actually get pregnant. I feel like that would have Sutter actually see something and try to not be like his father. Sutter would be more worried about his decisions and might actually learn what love was, which I feel like he never really did learn in the book.

Rating: I would give this book a 3.5 out of 5. The book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. It definitely had those moments were I loved it and the moments I hated it, like the chapters where Sutter was messing around and all Sutter is flat out DRUNK.

The Movie:

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Director: James Ponsoldt

Released: August 2, 2013

Length: 95 minutes

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About the Director: Ponsoldt was born in Athens, Georgia. He is the son of James F. and Susan E. Ponsoldt, and the grandson of graphic artist William Teason. His father is a retired law professor, formerly at the University of Georgia. He grew up in Athens, and attended Cedar Shoals High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in directing. Ponsoldt is also a graduate of the Professional Programs in Screenwriting and Producing at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Reviews/Critics: Roger Ebert has stated: Here is a lovely film about two high school seniors who look, speak and feel like real 18-year-old middle-American human beings. Do you have any idea how rare that is? They aren’t crippled by irony. They aren’t speeded up into cartoons. Their sex lives aren’t insulted by scenes that treat them cheaply… What an affecting film this is. It respects its characters and doesn’t use them for its own shabby purposes. How deeply we care about them. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are so there. Being young is a solemn business when you really care about someone. Teller has a touch of John Cusack in his Say Anything period. Woodley is beautiful in a real person sort of way, studying him with concern, and then that warm smile. We have gone through senior year with these two. We have known them. We have been them.

Actors:

  • Miles Teller as Sutter Keely
  • Shailene Woodley as Aimee Finecky
  • Brie Larson as Cassidy
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sara Keely
  • Kyle Chandler as Tommy Keely
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Holly Keely
  • Dayo Okeniyi as Marcus
  • Andre Royo as Mr. Aster
  • Bob Odenkirk as Dan
  • Kaitlyn Dever as Krystal
  • Masam Holden as Ricky
  • Gary Weeks as Joe
  • Whitney Goin as Mrs. Finecky
  • Nicci Faires as Tara

What Did You Think Of The Movie: I feel like this movie receives a 4 out of 5 stars. I loved this how this whole entire thing pulled the most important parts of the book into the movie and made them perfect. I have already seen Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller work together in the Divergent series so I was excited to see them in this. Honestly, I thought that the actors did amazing in the movie, but I feel like they could have gotten a better actress to play Aimee. Shailene Woodley is one of my favorite actors but I feel like she was too young and too different than the book Aimee.

Favorite Scene: This was easy for me. Since they took out my favorite scene, it would have to be when Sutter breaks down and cries. I could feel the emotion from the movie seep into my skin and make me emotional. – Or it would be when Sutter is yelling at Aimee to get out of the car and Aimee does but she gets hit with a truck. I laughed so hard because I saw it coming. I loved it so much!

The Movie vs. Book

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To be totally honest with you guys, I found that I liked the movie better than the book, and that is only the 2nd time that has happened in a while (The Book Thief is on the top). The ending of the movie had my mom wanting more and me happy that Sutter and Aimee might have a chance to be together at last. The one thing that I did hate was they took out my favorite scene/quote from the book. I hated that I could not see  Sutter yelling out the window of his car. I would have loved to see that.

The one thing that I hated about the movie was the actor they picked to play Sutter’s dad. While I was reading the book, I sort of saw a buffer looking guy who just really doesn’t know how to keep up with themselves. In the movie, they did have a guy who didn’t know how to keep up with himself, but it wasn’t like I thought about it.

What is your favorite Shailene Woodley movie? What about Miles Teller? Did you guys know that they actress who played Cassidy is the movie Room? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading,

 ❤ Ann

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4 thoughts on “The Spectacular Now: Book vs. Movie (Spoilers)

    1. Of course Sutter and Aimee are now done with and Sutter has gone back to his old self. He gets himself drunk and tells the bartender about his life and how messed up it has gotten. Everything seems perfect to him and he wants to go and achieve his spectacular now.

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