Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Movie Review: "The Way Way Back" (2013)

The Way Way Back was written & directed by first-timers Nat Faxon & Jim Rash and I have to say that for a directorial debut, these guys did a damn good job. This movie has an excellent cast as well...Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, and youngster Liam James. It's a funny, coming-of-age movie (which I seem to really enjoy, now that I think about it) that has some really great moments.

Duncan (played by James) is a shy 14-yr. old who goes away for summer vacation with his Mom, Pam (played by Collette), her cad of a boyfriend, Trent (played by Carell...a big-time diversion for him as Trent is such an ass & Carell doesn't play those types of characters), and Trent's daughter, Steph (played by Zoe Levin). Trent treats Duncan like crap most of the time and is not a very good boyfriend to Pam, which really upsets Duncan. He hates being on this vacation, but there is a little light at the end of the tunnel once he meets & develops a bit of a friendship with the neighbor girl, Susanna (played by AnnaSophia Robb), even though he still is quite awkward while around her. Then he meets Owen (played by Rockwell) the manager of the local water park called Water Wizz and his summer gets much, much better once he starts working at the park and hanging out with the gang there. Owen takes him under his wing and becomes a big brother figure to Duncan, which is exactly what Duncan needs. He loosens up quite a bit and in my favorite scene of the movie, pulls off some serious dance moves at the park.

The Way Way Back is a fun movie that mixes drama & comedy perfectly. It's not the stereotypical boy gets the girl while on summer vacation movie, but it does have some sweet moments. It also does a good job of portraying how a kid can grow up quickly and gain some much-needed confidence in the right setting. James does a great job of playing Duncan, Rockwell is superb at playing Owen like a big kid, and Carell really does a good job of acting like a complete asshole. It's a good, well-written story with some great dialogue and a seriously awesome dance scene with Duncan at its center. 

I definitely liked The Way Way Back...7.5/10 stars

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