Book-to-Movie Review: The Spectacular Now

Title: The Spectacular Now
Author: Tim Tharp
Published: July 2013
I read: July 2016
My Rating: 3 stars

TItle: The Spectacular Now
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler
Released: September 13, 2013
I rated: 7.5/10
IMDb rating: 7.1/10

I just finished reading the novel, The Spectacular Now, this week for this week’s Booktube-a-thon, and one of the challenges for this read-a-thon was to read a book, and then watch it’s movie adaptation, which I then, also, did watch.

This story is about a boy who is a tad pretentious, and loses his girlfriend (that he does truly care about) over something stupid. Instead of owning up to his own stupidity (in anything that he does), he then tries to help the social status of another quiet girl, who he ends of up falling in love with. Sutter has a bit of a drinking problem, which is the running theme and reasoning behind the entire story and all the things that happen in it, which also brings this innocent girl, Aimee, down with him. Thankfully, she doesn’t let it get her down for the long haul.

I thought this book was just okay. I do like the writing style and feel of the book overall, but I consider it to just feel “meh”. I was kind of frustrated with Sutter. The amount of stupidity is gross. Drinking and driving is done a TON, and I feel like, with some of the things that happens when he’s drank and drove, he would get caught at some point. I feel like his character didn’t really grow all that much. He did grow somewhat, but not in this area. Aimee is the character who changes the most. It’s almost sad how much she lets Sutter drag her down, but we know it’s all done because she loves him, and doesn’t want to let him go. It doesn’t help the ending is left wide open to interpretation, but with no indication at all as to what way it could be going. I gave this book a 3/5 star rating.

I liked the movie just slightly more than the book. I felt it told the main idea of the story well. However, compared to the book, it’s like they took all the main parts of the book, put them in a bag and shook them up, and then blindly pulled them out to make the order of the movie. Many scenes happened word for word from the book, but all out of order. They also did add in a few scenes that never happened. I don’t think they portrayed the kids as strongly in their personalities as the book described. However, the ending is concluded a bit better, which I think helps. Despite it all, the story was told well, and I enjoyed it a bit more than the book. I would give the movie a 3.75/5 or 7.5/10 stars.


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