Wednesday, 25 September 2013
The Way Way Back
From the moment I saw the trailer for The Way Way Back I knew I wanted to see it. From the actors involved to the fact that it looked like it would be a genuine and funny summer movie. Something that is all too rare these days. What added to my excitement was when my cinema buddy not only raved about the film, but also told me he'd seen it multiple times. Something he only does when he REALLY likes a film.
The story centers on Duncan (Liam James), a kid who is spending the summer in the holiday home from hell. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't belong to his mother's new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell), whom Duncan just can't see eye to eye with. Along for the ride are Duncan's mom Pam (Toni Collette), who's still in that disgusting honeymoon period with Trent, and Trent's brattish teenage daughter Steph (Zoe Levin). As Duncan and Trent haven't really hit it off, Duncan tries to find ways to fill his days without being under scrutiny for his every move. Oh and he has a crush on the girl vacationing in the next house. After a chance encounter with Owen (Sam Rockwell) who works at the local water park, Duncan finally finds a place where he feels at home. He gets a job, makes friends and has some much needed fun. What could possibly go wrong?
I am pleased to report that The Way Way Back IS one of those rare summer movies that is both genuine and funny. The characters all feel very real but not so much that you feel like you're watching a dreadful reality show. The relationship between Duncan and Owen is handled perfectly and in the hands of lesser actors could have seemed quite creepy. Given that one of these actors is a relatively unknown 17 year old is really impressive. Liam James is definitely one to watch. At the start of the movie I felt a little bit like I wanted to punch his miserable face, but by the end of the movie I'd really grown to like him.
The other surprise here was that Steve Carell is actually playing an unlikable character for once. I don't think I've ever seen that before. And he's brilliant at it. He makes you really despise Trent in a way I haven't felt in some time. There is no-one in the cast I can fault because even the horrible characters are portrayed so well. And the fact that the movie was written and directed by two of the supporting actors in the film blows my mind a little.
What I love about The Way Way Back is that it's not like every other teen movie, it's got good actors, a believable storyline, and it's feel-good without being cheesy. Definitely the last jem of the summer. 8 out of 10.
Viewing Date - 1st September 2013
UK Release Date - 28th August 2013
Trent ~ Steve Carell
Pam ~ Toni Collette
Betty ~ Allison Janney
Susanna ~ AnnaSophia Robb
Owen ~ Sam Rockwell
Caitlin ~ Maya Rudolph
Duncan ~ Liam James
Steph ~ Zoe Levin
Kip ~ Rob Corddry
Joan ~ Amanda Peet
Roddy ~ Nat Faxon
Lewis ~ Jim Rash
Director(s)/Writer(s) ~ Nat Faxon and Jim Rash