The Way Way Back (2013)
Running Time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Starring: Liam James, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette
Duncan (James), a shy and quiet 14-year-old embarks on a summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Carell) and the boyfriend’s daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Finding it difficult to fit in, Duncan then meets Owen (Rockwell), the manager of the Water Wizz water park, and is offered a job at the park.
The storyline was simple, and in some ways predictable, but there was just something about the film that pulls on your heartstrings from the first scene between Duncan and Trent, and you just can’t help but be sucked into the story. What Jim Rash and Nat Faxon did here was the ability to bring the characters to life; especially Duncan; whose story or emotions of what he was going through in the film resonates with that of the general population. It wasn’t hard to empathise with the shy teen.
With a good storyline, the movie needed a stellar ensemble which I thought was casted very well here. You have Carell who is well-known for his comedic abilities, but since Little Miss Sunshine, I’ve been waiting for him to take on a more dramatic and serious role, so I was very happy to see him in such a domineering role. Then, you have Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney whom are brilliant and talented actors and they executed their roles with such ease. Last but not least, the lead actor, Liam James whom to me is a new face, and I thought he did a good job as the awkward and somewhat misunderstood teen.
Overall, I cannot wait to see more from the duo Faxon and Rash who have an incredible ability to breathe life into the scripts they write. I highly recommend this film to those who love movies such as About A Boy, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Art of Getting By, Juno, and so on.
Rating: 8 out of 10