Sutter Keely

Sutter Keely

    The Spectacular Now
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… with his mom in Athens, Georgia. He’s lived half his life without a father, alone with his overbearing mother, with no plans of leaving anytime soon. This new girl Aimee is his only chance at escape, and he’s his own biggest obstacle.

Profession… high school student, and barely that. Sutter has no real prospects as graduation approaches. His only prospects are prescribed by Aimee. Maybe he’ll go to Philadelphia with her and and attend junior college, maybe he’ll get a job in downtown Philly. But putting a career together is hard when you’re only “living in the moment.”

Interests… drinking. Sutter thinks alcohol’s gotten a bad rap. People focus on the dangers without talking about how fun it can be, how good it can feel. He loves feeling like he’s in another dimension, loves how it nurtures the flow of ideas. He sees it as a path to his best self. Unfortunately, most disagree.

Relationship Status... perpetually self-sabotaged. As he puts it: “What can I say, I’m a romantic. I am in love with the feminine species. It’s a shame you only get to pick one.” He resents the rules and systems associated with dating; they don’t serve those who get bored easily. But maybe Aimee is the girl worth changing for.

Challenge… growing up. Sutter’s plan for the future is to have fun all the time. To be serious is to let the grown-ups win. To apply to college is to give in. Textbooks are for suckers; they are the opposite of living in the moment. Sobriety is compromise. Compromise is admitting defeat.

Personality… fun-loving and charming, but unfocused and disengaged. Sutter sees the genius of everyone around him and is all too happy to stay on the sidelines, cheering them on. He can’t understand why everyone is so anxious all the time. Why can’t they just be chill, like him? Of course if everyone was like him, nothing would ever get done.


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