I absolutely loved the book The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp when it came out in 2008. Although it was recognized as a National Book Award finalist in that year, I could never really sell the book to teens. I blame the original cover, which was just lame. Now the much anticipated movie, already winner of a Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, is out in theaters.
We all know the mixed feelings of anticipation and dread that precede watching a movie based on a favored book. Will the movie be true to the spirit of the book? Or will it stain the book’s legacy, now forever linked to a botched effort?
One important element is the casting. The narrator of The Spectacular Now is Sutter Keely, a genuine live-in-the-moment kind of guy. For Sutter, life is beautiful in the now, so one should drink it up while it’s here. He says:
“Life is spectacular. Forget the dark things. Take a drink and let time wash them away to wherever time washes things away to.”