Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Way Way Back


Bring the Heat, Bring the Noise

8.75 out of 10 | Matinee or Rental

Rated: PG-13  Some sexual content, language, brief drug material and thematic elements
Release Date: July 5, 2013 (limited)
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes

Director: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Writers: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Cast: Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, Toni Collette, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Allison Janney, Liam James, Jim Rash, Nat Faxon, River Alexander, Ava Deluca-Verley

SYNOPSIS:  Over the course of his summer break, a teenager comes into his own thanks in part to the friendship he strikes up with one of the park's managers.

REVIEW: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash moved from just comedians and actors with their breakout screenplay for George Clooney, The Descendants. Jim Rash is most recently known for his work as the Dean in NBC's Community, while Nat Faxon appeared in Bad Teacher and The Zookeeper. Now they write, direct and star in a film about a young man's coming of age in spite of external forces he can never hope to control.

14-year-old Duncan (Liam James, 2012) finds himself in the back of the vintage station wagon going to a summer beach house owned by his mother's boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World). Sitting in the far back seat, Duncan is the odd man out with his mother Pam (Toni Collette, Hitchcock) diverting attention to Trent. Once they get to the Ramsey summerhouse - called the Riptide - Duncan is even more an outsider when Trent's friends reconnect from previous summers. Duncan's mom joins in the fun and Duncan finds himself moping around wishing he was anywhere but there. After a few days Duncan bumps into Owen (Sam Rockwell, The Sitter), the manager of the local water park waterways, and finds the kinship to him. Taking a job at the water park Duncan diverts his problems to enjoyment of the summer job at the park, finding new friends and people to make his days worthwhile. Along the way Duncan finds a friend in Trent's neighbors daughter, makes friends at the water park, and find a new confidence that comes with the start of being a man.

The Way, Way Back can mean many things. Does it refer to Duncan's seat assignment at the far back bench of Trent's station wagon? Or is it a more metaphysical in defining how to find one's way back once you gone astray? At the very least 
The Way, Way Back is a coming-of-age story of a boy dealing with the destruction of his nuclear family and the turmoil that comes with a new one.

From Steve Carell's turn as a not so funny boyfriend, to Toni Collette reprising a familiar role as an uncertain mother to a young son, to Sam Rockwell scene-stealing with his juvenile antics, 
the cast is phenomenal. Liam James, playing Duncan, provides all the tell tale sign of an awkward boy who has to find it within himself to grow up a bit. With the addition of Amanda Peet, Rob Cordry, Allison Janney, and Mya Rudolph, the entire film works in wonderful concert. Even Mat Faxon and Jim Rash 'do good' with their more than cameo roles.

The Way, Way Back also captures the volatile teenage angst that seems so foreign to adults. But it also captures the uncertainties and poor judgements that adults make that seem so foreign to a teenager. Life is still so black and white for a young adult - the emotions so raw and intense, the decisions so difficult to come by but obvious and 'right' when made.

Life in a summer season town may seem like a two month paradise to those living on the outside, but it is an odyssey of awkwardness and self-discovery for the young, and a period of regret and the pursuit to recapture youth under the guise of too much drinking, smoking, and partying for adults. Decisions are made or made on our behalf at any age, providing a breeding ground for contempt, regret, and lost opportunities. Seize the day, wherever you are!

The Way, Way Back is a sweet, funny and serious look into the perils of new places, new people, and new family dynamics. The perfect tale for summer, this film will give you a reflection of wonders lost and wonders found.

No comments:

Post a Comment