Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Bob Odenkirk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Directed by: James Ponsoldt
Synopsis: A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not so typical ‘nice girl’.
In a year when I have seen some cracking coming of age dramas like The Way, Way Back and Kings of summer, I have to say this one was a huge disappointment in comparison.
Miles Teller plays Sutter who is, I think, supposed to be the cool kid at school with a hot girl on his arm, played by Brie Larson. They split up and he winds up going out with the nerdy girl, Aimee, played by Shailene Woodley. Here’s the thing. I never once believed that Sutter was in anyway cool or popular at all, and certainly not too good looking for Aimee, who was probably on a par with his so called hot ex girlfriend any way. So if I was supposed to buy into it that he was falling for the nerd, it didn’t happen.
I realise, being an old thirty something dad that I’m not really the target audience for this young adult kind of stuff. But heh, I don’t feel old, and I love a coming of age drama as much as any other type of film. This one was just average though. I’m guessing that the dialogue was maybe improvised, by the way the characters spoke to each other, but that just led to bland dialogue (in fact it was kind of the perfect antidote to The Counselor from yesterday’s review)! It’s nice to have realism sometimes, but the characters still need to speak with a bit of a spark.
It picked up nearer the end when Teller and Aimee go to meet his Dad, but not for long and then it was back to wishing it was a profound high school coming of age thing. To be honest, I found American Pie to be more profound about the trials of leaving school behind.