When The Spectacular Now starts Sutter Kelly is in his senior year in high school. He also works at a store specialising in menâ€™s attires. He is a popular kid but he lacks ambition and direction in life and this is the reason Cassidy his girlfriend dumps him.
Losing his girlfriend causes him to go on a drinking spree. He is found the next morning on a strangerâ€™s lawn having passed out by Aimee Finicky. Aimee is a girl who is fond of reading manga and science fiction in her spare time and unlike other girls does not wear makeup.
Aimee goes on to be invited to a party by Sutter. However when Sutter encounters Cassidy he stops paying Aimee attention for a while. Sutter wants to have a drink with Cassidy but she won’t. As it turns out she has already bagged a new boyfriend, Marcus. Sutter has no choice but to go back to Aimee.
And like Sutter, Aimee has weaknesses of her own too, which includes inability to stand up to her mother. This is in turn making her consider forgoing college in Philadelphia just to fulfil her motherâ€™s demands. Sutter teaches her how to stand up to her mother.
When Sutter meets with his alcoholic absentee father while with Aimee he sees himself in his dad and realises his life is doomed and he will amount to nothing. It ends up being a bad night for both Sutter and Aimee.
Eventually Aimee leaves for college where she had invited him to join her. Will Sutter man up and complete the college application essay and change his life for the better?