May 3, 2014
Movie Night: The Way Way Back.
Review #575: The Way Way Back.
Liam James (Duncan), Steve Carell (Trent Ramsey), Toni Collette (Pam), Sam Rockwell (Owen), Maya Rudolph (Caitlyn), AnnaSophia Robb (Susanna), Allison Janney (Betty), Rob Corddry (Kip), and Amanda Peet (Joan) Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
The Way Way Back may feel cobbled together out of tropes (The loner, the parents who are useless, the northeastern setting (I suppose), the one villainous character, the romance subplot, the quirky qualities of one or more characters), but at least this is a well made cobble of tropes. The movie has its quirks, it has moments of zing that try to make for a fun movie, which it does for the first half. The second half isn't exactly as good, but I guess it could be worse. Sam Rockwell is just a joy to watch, he has a level of quirk to him and he works well with James. James himself is a decent child actor, he works well with Robb, the chemistry awkward, but it does feel just right. I wasn't aware how effective Steve Carell could be in portraying an irredeemable character (no, Gru from Despicable Me doesn't count), which essentially tells me I should watch more of Carell's work. The second half just isn't as great, maybe it just feels so downbeat mixed with some sweetness just for kicks. The movie just has a bittersweet ending that either breaks the movie due to it being a buzz kill on the fun or it just wraps the movie up nicely and makes the movie work. I'm more on the former, but this is at least is an decent comedy that works for someone looking to spend an afternoon on a hot summer day...
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.