The Spectacular Now
"Live Fast Live Hard Die Young" by Faron Young
It’s not hard to see why the Sutter, the free-wheeling protagonist of James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now would be attracted to the song "Live Fast Live Hard Die Young" by Faron Young. First released in 1955, the song’s message about living life to the fullest and leaving behind a good looking corpse fits perfectly with his personal philosophy regarding living in the moment and never bothering to think too far into the future. Unfortunately, it’s this personal connection that also leads to one of the most devastating moments in the film.

Sutter plays the song on a jukebox for his estranged father, Tommy (Kyle Chandler) at a bar hoping that it will bring them together, Sutter not only believing his dad to have the same philosophy as himself, but also a memory of hearing it when he was a kid and his parents were still together. This reach leads to nothing but rejection, however, as Tommy not only dismisses the song but also his son’s memory. The reunion only deteriorates further from there, but even after the song has ended you can still practically hear it echoing as Sutter learns who his father really is and who he may be destined to become. It’s one of the most crucial scenes in the film, and the song choice is perfect.

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