Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Way Way Back

I finally got to see this movie! It's quite frustrating to see all these people you follow tweeting about how awesome a movie is and then find out that that movie won't be coming to a theater near you for way too long a time. This is the story of a summer, a family, and a water park.

The Way Way Back

Directed By - Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Written By - Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Top-Billed Cast - Steve Carell, Toni Collette, & Allison Janney 

A summer vacation to work out the kinks of a merging of families. At least, that's what it was supposed to be. The reality was that Trent (Steve Carell), the boyfriend and father of his own rebellious daughter, had no real interest in truly connecting with his girlfriend's (Toni Collette) son, Duncan (Liam James). The movie follows Duncan as he tries to find his place in this new city, in his family, and in the world as a whole.

Pros - 

* I hated Steve Carell's character in this movie. For me to hate the character, I had to believe the performance. Hats off to Mr. Carell for that.

* I laughed a lot. I think there was an expectation for this movie to be funny based on the cast but, once it got going, I was really surprised at how much I laughed given the intensity of some of the plot points.

* The supporting cast in this movie were just awesome; they all pulled their weight and pretty much every line was memorable for one reason or another.

* The setting and the sets themselves were well thought out. This isn't the story of a billionaire and his fantastically furnished beach house, this is the story of a regular set of people and you can really see that in the design.

* While a great cast can get you far, having good writing is what takes you the rest of the way. This movie is fast-paced at times, but the dialogue is both witty and weighty when the situation calls for it.

* The way the subplots intertwine and complement the main story works really nicely.

* This is a movie that makes you really wish your job had the camaraderie that is seen among the staff of the "Water Wizz" water park. Or maybe just that your job was at the "Water Wizz" water park..

Cons - 

* So an Australian woman and a Canadian kid walk onto a movie set... wait, this isn't a joke. I know, I know, I need to get over it. But I can't. While, for the most part, everybody did a great job at sticking with dialects, there were times when it was just painful. And, in a movie where I can remember very little that I didn't like...this must be included for balance.

* There were parts of the story that I didn't feel quite wrapped up. I'm sure that was intentional but as a fan of complete stories with no major questions hanging in the air, it was a bit frustrating. I understand the lack of answers to certain questions, but minor plot points? Can't we just wrap those up nicely?

Now Mother..
This movie is rated PG-13 for brief language and some sexual innuendo. Be prepared to talk about drug use (brief), cheating, and you might have to explain the title. It's a fairly "clean" film, though, and does a fantastic job at telling a somewhat difficult, albeit increasingly common, story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, as is made obvious by the TWO cons I've listed. Seriously, that's never happened before. There are tiny things I could nitpick, but I honestly don't think it's worth it. This was a good movie and it's one I'll likely own. It's honest, it's funny, it's endearing, and you should go see it. 4/5 stars from me!