There are times when James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now,” which was released in theaters earlier this month, perfectly captures adolescent first love: the tentativeness of it, the confidence it can instill and, most notably, its sweetness and tenderness. Sutter (Miles Teller, “Rabbit Hole”) and Aimee (Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”) are an unlikely pair: he’s without ambition but always the life of the party while she’s academic and grounded. They start up a friendship by chance — when he wakes up on her front lawn one morning after a night of heavy drinking, and she takes him on her paper route to help him find his car – and the characters complement each other, with Sutter’s laid-back charm and wit detaching Aimee from her shyness.
Today, in the age of sequels and franchises that are renewed long past their expiration dates (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” anyone?), it’s about time Hollywood realizes that if it wants to bring audiences to the theaters, it needs to give us something new.