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Review: The Way, Way Back

Updated: Thursday, August 1 2013, 02:32 PM CDT
By Ken The Critic @kenthecritic

Grade: A

The Way, Way Back is from the studio who brought us Little Miss Sunshine. Even though that film is commendable in it’s own right, I just believe the writing is far stronger in this film. This film comes to us from the Oscar winning writers of The Descendants, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who direct, write, and star in the film. There are a slew of characters and every single one of them is brilliantly cast. Liam James makes Duncan so real. No one could have done a better job. Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell shine in their roles, and Steve Carell gives a very different performance that makes you hate him (which is the point).  

In The Way, Way Back, 14 year old Duncan (Liam James) is heading to Cape Cod with his mom (Toni Collette) for the summer. The only problem is that they are staying at her pompous boyfriend, Trent’s beach house. Trent (Steve Carell) is constantly belittling Duncan. Duncan is very unhappy and all he truly wants to do is go live with his father in California. Since he doesn’t like the environment, he takes off in the mornings. He ends up getting a job to kill the time at a water park called Water Wizz. While he is there, he meets Manager Owen (Sam Rockwell), who is just the life of the party. His relationship with Owen changes him for the better, mainly helping him to come out of his shell and not be so awkward.

There’s no stone unturned in this film. You can tell that Faxon and Rash to the time to craft it. It is poignant and heartfelt and such a pleasant surprise amongst the summer movies. You will laugh, cry, and be moved.

I love movies that deal with people’s heartache and insecurities and why they do things in their lives, even if it’s unhealthy. There are so many meaningful moments that you just wish other screenwriters would learn from, especially the ending. The ending is nothing short of astounding. This is Faxon and Rash’s directorial debut and they should be really proud of what they have created. I definitely am.

To check out the trailer:

Ken’s Movie Review Grading Scale

A – Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now

B – Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it’s out of the        theaters; the story may drag in places

C – Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it

D – Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.

F – Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoever  
Review: The Way, Way Back

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