There's a pretty great piece by Vince Mancini over at FilmDrunk on the character of Ferris Bueller and how he can't really exist anymore in the Internet age. That fun, carefree, adventurous spirit who's friends with all different types of people, and willing to do anything with anyone at any moment. The type of kid who'll attend a baseball game and an art museum and find both experiences just as fulfilling and rewarding. The kind of kid who gives everyone a chance. The kind of kid you just want to be around as much as possible.
In this summer's The Spectacular Now, that kid is Miles Teller.
Well, he's a character played by Miles Teller, the smooth-talking, charismatic up-and-comer from Footloose and 21 and Over -- but Teller has managed to embody a little bit of what made Ferris Bueller so memorable in each one of his roles so far. In The Spectacular Now he plays Sutter Keely, a cool, quick-witted high schooler who, like Ferris Bueller, is friends with just about everyone. He's the kid you want at your party; the dude who'll say and do everything you won't. And when he sparks up a relationship with the shy and detached Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley), you (and the characters) expect it to last about a second until everyone realizes these two can't live without each other.
Here's the film's first trailer:
It's a lot deeper, emotionally, than anything Ferris Bueller ever went through, but it also plays to similar themes found in the John Hughes classic. Those times when you're forced to come to terms with the fact that you're very much like the people who brought you into this world, for better or for worse. As I said previously in my review of the film from Sundance, "... in the case of The Spectacular Now, director James Ponsoldt -- along with 500 Days of Summer writers Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter -- expertly tap into a teenager's fear of the future, most notably the moments when we begin to realize how much of an impact (good and bad) our parents had on us growing up."
Sutter and Aimee's relationship isn't all that different from that of Ferris and his best friend Cameron, with each trying to extract a specific way of being from the other, except 27 years later The Spectacular Now is a bit more subtle about it. Ferris Bueller's Day Off never really approached the harm its main character's carelessness may cause, but The Spectacular Now does a better job of balancing its fun moments with its harsher, sadder ones.
Like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Specactular Now is very much about living for the moment, but because we've become more introspective over the years, the film also shows you what it's like after you've lived for the moment and you wake up with a nasty hangover. What happens then? And who's there to help you figure it out?
Make sure you see this one when it hits theaters on August 2. I bet it'll turn out to be one of your favorite movies of the year.