Fans of James Ponsoldt’s 2012 indie hit, Smashed, can rejoice: the trailer for his latest picture, The Spectacular Now, has popped up on the Web. Watch it above.
Coming on the heels of high praise from Sundance (as well as smaller festivals like the Independent Film Festival of Boston), the film follows gregarious, directionless high school senior Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) as he parties and drinks his way through his final year of secondary education. He also falls in love with Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley), the quiet, nice girl he never thought twice about until the morning he woke up after passing out on her lawn.
Here’s the official synopsis:
This adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel The Spectacular Now captures the insecurity and confusion of adolescence without looking for tidy truths. Young actors rarely portray teens with the maturity that Teller and Woodley display, and they are phenomenal together. THE SPECTACULAR NOW is a funny, compassionate and poignant love story written by (500) DAYS OF SUMMER scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, directed by James Ponsoldt (SMASHED) and produced by Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren and Michelle Krumm.
The trailer deserves a caveat of sorts. While The Spectacular Now does indeed contain a great deal of feel-good material, it’s also incredibly raw, packing an emotional wallop alongside its infectious charm and sense of humor. A number of critics have drawn comparisons between The Spectacular and the work of John Hughes, which feels apt; Ponsoldt, however, goes to darker depths in telling Sutter’s tale, something that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has seen Smashed. The footage here does a great job capturing the more comic aspects of the film while only hinting at its struggle, which is probably for the best.
What the clip does convey is how much of the movie revolves around the performances of Teller and Woodley. Viewers might recognize Teller from films like Rabbit Hole and Footloose ’11, but everyone surely knows Woodley courtesy of her work in The Descendants (and because she’s set to play Mary-Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 & 4). The movie chose its two leads very wisely, and if nothing else, there’s going to be a lot of talk about their work here once the film enjoys its theatrical release this summer.
The Spectacular Now arrives in theaters August 2nd, 2013