MTV News' Josh Horowitz caught up with Teller and Woodley, who both won acting awards at the fest, and their co-star Brie Larson, plus director James Ponsoldt to talk about what separates their coming-of-age story from every other teen movie that hits the markets.
Woodley's answer was short and to the point. "The sex scenes, I'm sorry."
This is where — at least according to the cast — "The Spectacular Now" begins to move away from the pack. "Our sex scene, it's awesome," Teller said. "It's fricking great."
Woodley explained that it's the honesty that's brought to such an intimate scene that makes it so different. "Here's the thing, losing your virginity isn't that fun or beautiful or glamorized, and every time I see a 'coming of age film,' they look like it's awesome," she said. "It was not awesome."
To capture high school life realistically, Teller said, you have to pull from both the clichés and the unseen parts of teen films. "In high school movies, it is cliquey. High school is cliquey. It's not to say that, but it's very clean. It's cookie cutter. In these movies, you see the kid when they go home, maybe their mom isn't there to say, 'How was your day?' and this and that," he said. "Maybe you don't have the most picturesque life, but you're 17 years-old and you have your group of friends. It's a tough time. It's a tough time to be a kid. This is very real. You see the behind-the-scenes stuff. It's beautifully written."