I'll take that recommendation. Between reviews, you, and Blace I'm glad to hear it.
Also, not to bring up an older topic, but back onto the Spectacular Now.
Welp.... this is depressing. I read a bit about the book and a friend of mine read it too. Apparently the book is...more true to the title.
(I'm not gonna spoiler tag this, just skip, otherwise it's a coming of age with no BIG SECRETS)
So, apparently the ending lacks the whole meet up of Sutter and Aimee in Philadelphia. A bit of a drag, because I liked that (a) he actually went to see her and (b) she was all sorts of emotions about it (not exclusively happy, sad, or surprised).
But Sutter's alcoholic life somewhat gets the best of him. Specifically: He doesn't really change by the end, he lives for that "now" while Aimee, Sutter's blonde ex (forgot her name), and everyone else kinda moves on while he's stuck in his rut. I did re-watch the film, and I think I kind of get Sutter's angle too: He got Aimee a goddamn flask for prom, and she was seen drinking with him at graduation and watched him drink and drive. I wonder if he was worried about her spiralling too...
I do like that in both versions Aimee's turn out is better for having met Sutter (she took on his confidence, but left the baggage). But I dunno... I think the book really kills his character arc; as is the ending for the film seems to be quite ambiguous in terms of him and Aimee as a couple, but at LEAST more optimistic about his own future and a vow to change.
The "spectacular now" indeed. =/
I fucken hate downer endings. Movie-buff or not, I hate sad turnabouts. I will never-ever fucking read/watch My Sister's Keeper.
However! I think if you liked this film, you might like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. As far as teenage coming of age films (a sort-of subgenre I like for whatever reason), I think I like it a bit more than this one for hitting higher highs, and lower lows. ...I kinda just find it a bit more 'fun' too.
Back to "Before". I've seen Before Sunset several times; I think it was one of the independent movies I saw when I could finally "embrace" films outside of their shock, pop, and ability to entertain the senses (hard to explain; but since the "Before" series is basically 90% talk, I hope you can get the connection that it's not your typical film to say the least). So in that sense, Before Sunset kinda holds a special place in my movie watching.
IIRC, the director often comments about that one thing: I don't think he expected a sequel of Sunrise to be made (hell, this might just be the first-ever indie film TRILOGY). It does make me kinda wish I saw the first film first; but I didn't know about the series till I saw Sunset. As a married fella, I'm reaally keen to hear what you think about Before Midnight. :)