"The Spectacular Now": The Making of the Next Great Coming-of-Age Movie Classic

A Look Back at the Art That Inspired The Filmmakers

There's only one way to get a grasp on the potential influence of The Spectacular Now on this generation of teenagers: look back on the films that influenced the ones before it.

Ponsoldt: "I loved Catcher in the Rye. I watched Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, and Big. Dumbo and Bambi are movies that still kill me. I think they’re amazing coming-of-age stories. There's real pain. That's the difference with these and everything else. There's real pain and there's sitcom pain, and the ones that have the real pain and balance it with light and laughter are the ones that I come back to."

Teller:  "I’ve never seen a lot of those John Hughes movies. I've never seen Sixteen Candles or Breakfast Club. When I was real young, I watched The Wizard of Oz every day, and I loved Indiana Jones."

"But I don't watch a lot of movies. I think a lot of my creativity just came from just my household. I have two older sisters and we all play multiple instruments. My mom loved the chaos of it. I remember my sister for her birthday got a play that you could put on. There was a script and costumes and a role for the director. There was one guy part for this one we did, Little Red Riding Hood, and it was for the wolf. It was between me and my cousin Richard, who's six years older than me, and he got the wolf. I was not even the best actor in my own family. That pissed me off. [Laughs.]"

Okeniyi: "For some reason my parents force-fed us Rogers and Hammerstein, so I grew up with literally all of their musicals. I know them like the back of my hand, from South Pacific to The King and I. I can’t even explain how obsessed I was with The Sound of Music. Low key, I wanted Julie Andrews to be my mom."

"But I also grew up watching The Sandlot and Home Alone. We got movies late in NIgeria, but I got to see American Pie, too. "

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