I am currently living in Athens, GA. Home of R.E.M., the B-52s, Widespread Panic and University of Georgia football, we can now add something else to that short roll call of famous things happening here. This town was prominently featured in the new indie smash hit The Spectacular Now. And oh man are people going crazy about it here. For two weeks straight showings of the movie had been jam packed with people wanting to see the landmarks they visit everyday splayed out for everyone to view. Places like George Deans, gas stations, Bizarro Wuxtry (which isn’t geographically where they had it by the way. It’s in a way cooler spot.) and the bus station are all immortalized on digital film for everyone to see. It is only a bonus that the film is actually good.
Although you think the film would be about Athens, it is actually about a young man about to graduate high school. He is one of those care free types that don’t seem to be bothered by anything. He is broken up with by his equally care free girlfriend and goes down a path of self discovery but also one of real love. He picks a girl that he has never really noticed before and realizes that there is something special about her. Throw in some father drama, heavy drinking and an uptight older sister and you have the movie right there.
I really wanted to hate the main character. He had a horrible life plan (always live in the now), he was cocky, and he was not treating his new love with the love that she needed. (That and I actually met the actor, Miles Teller, who was anything but nice) But I just couldn’t. He went through so many rough moments and he had such inherent charm that when it reached the emotional climax of the film, it got dusty in the theater. He made me believe that he was an actual person and not a womanizing star like he was in real life. It is a small film but a film that I hope more people will watch.
In order to boast a little bit, I was employed at the hotel where the film crew and actors stayed for most of the film. I helped Jennifer Jason Leigh’s son pick out candy, stole Netflix from Brie Larson, talked for a long time with Masam Holden (who I thought had a larger part in the film… he was there for like a month and only had a handful of scenes make it to the film), drove Andre Royo downtown and gave him recommendations on where to eat and most importantly I printed out a boarding pass for Bob Odenkirk. At one point I even brushed hands with Mr. Odenkirk. I know that you are jealous.