I was spoiled as an angst-ridden teen. I had John Hughes and John Cusack, Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have those movies, until they were gone… Fear of comparison sent filmmakers running from the teen dramedy, venturing into the genre only to explore sex romps or insanely wild parties. Well, here, we have a film that dares to plumb the dark depths, and while it may not stand up to the legendary status of the great movies about the high school experience, it is a touching, troubling and charming film.
Sutter (Miles Teller) is in high-school heaven. He has a gorgeous girlfriend (Brie Larson), an easy job and a car. He also has a troubling home life, a failing academic career and a budding drinking problem. After a particularly wild night, he finds himself on a strange front lawn, in a strange neighborhood, being awakened by a strange girl, Aimee (Shailene Woodley). She doesn’t run in Sutter’s crowd, but the two have a common bond that draws them together. And while Aimee is a diligent, innocent, focused girl, determined to rise above her past, Sutter is headed down a very different path.
I really liked this film. It's not an '80s teen comedy by any stretch. It is, however, a moving story of a boy trying to become a man, in spite of himself. It’s an 8.