Following its critically-acclaimed festival circuit run, The Spectacular Now is hitting theaters in New York and Los Angeles on August 2, with a nationwide expansion following on August 23. A24 Films has released a clip featuring the first kiss between Aimee (Shailene Woodley) and Sutter (Miles Teller). In addition, writer-director James Ponsoldt issued a statement regarding the scene, which is one of his favorites in the whole movie.
"This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. I always knew I wanted to film in it one long, continuous, unedited take, walking and talking with Aimee and Sutter, feeling like we -- the audience -- are part of a natural conversation that ebbs and flows from goofy and awkward to serious to emotional to flirtatious and nervous to...a first kiss. I wanted the scene to feel as natural as life. Of course, it meant that the burden was on Shailene and Miles to nail the scene (in a long take, everything has to come together perfectly -- or else the shot is useless) -- and our camera operator had to back-pedal for 5 minutes on a muddy, slippery path.
What Shailene and Miles ultimately did in this scene is so casual and unguarded and spontaneous that some people think the scene was improvised. It wasn't.Shailene and Miles are just that great as actors -- so present, so connected to their roles, and so willing to embrace whatever happens in the moment (bumping into a tree branch or swatting a pesky mosquito, hearing rumbling storm clouds, etc.).
To put it simply, here's why this scene is one of my favorites: it actually feels like two people falling for each other.