In 2013, when I first saw The Spectacular Now, I was amazed at its subtle brilliance. The problem with most of the coming of age movies is that they try too hard. Whereas The Spectacular Now says a lot by keeping things simple, yet beautiful. That’s also why teen movies like The Spectacular Now are difficult to pull off: filmmakers try too many things without getting to the emotional core of teenagers. Also, because it’s difficult, if not impossible, to avoid the trappings and clichés of the genre.
The way The Spectacular Now handles teenage romance, without glamorizing it with sardonic elements, is really commendable. There’s nothing new in the story of an innocent, good girl falling for an effortless charmer, but it’s the treatment of the story which matters. And off-course, when you have such hugely competent lead actors, it makes the experience even more pleasure-worthy. While, Miles Tiller is great as Sutter, it’s Shailene Woodley who blows you away with her genuinely affectionate portrayal of Aimee. The character of Aimee might at times be too good to be true, but in the end she turns out to be not just a sweet girl but actually the harbinger of change in Sutter’s attitude towards life. With that said, now let’s look at some of the coming of age movies similar to The Spectacular Now that are our recommendations. You can watch some of these movies like The Spectacular Now on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
9. Paper Towns (2015)
Paper Towns starts with a lot of promise. It even has some Perks vibe going on in the first few minutes. But soon you realize that it is a different film altogether. It is more of an adventure tale. Though, the treatment of the story is pretty much same as any other coming of age film. In the end, the film has some genuinely great moments even if it may not meet up to the class of ‘The Perks of Being Wall Flower’.
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8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Within the first few minutes of the film you know that you haven’t seen anything like it before. From its quirky, innovative cinematography to its clever use of sountrack, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a teen film with a difference. Not as readily likeable as ‘Perks..’ if you give this film a genuine chance, I am sure you are going to love everything about it: its wit, its humor and its subtle sadness.