Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Review - The Way, Way Back (2013)

Starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Liam James.
Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Synopsis: 14 year old Duncan goes on a summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

The Way Way Back is a coming-of-age story of Duncan (Liam James); a withdrawn, shy 14 year old boy who would rather be with his dad but instead, is forced to spend his summer holiday with his mom Pam (Toni Collette) and her boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) at Trent's beach house. Even though it really offers nothing new to the genre, the performances and humor are quite refreshing. I literally found myself smiling for the entire duration of this film - something that has hardly happened in this year's batch of movies.

The Way Way Back reeks of teen angst, not only from our main character Duncan, but even from other young characters such as his neighbour Susanna (Annasophia Robb). Liam James portrays Duncan well and throughout the film, you can really feel his pain as he still trying to cope with his parents divorce, lack of attention and constant belittlement from Trent. He carries this movie well and amidst all the angst, he is still able to provide a few laughs. Duncan meets Owen (Sam Rockwell) and that is when he begins to open up and finally come out of his shell.

Liam James does a solid job and so does the rest of the cast, especially Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney. Both characters are crazy, fun-loving and hilarious. We are all accustomed to Steve Carell being the funny guy but he was quite solid as the douchebag, strict boyfriend. Every character added to this movie in their own way and made it a fun experience for me. So many funny lines - the dialogue is so quotable.

The comedy aspect of The Way Way Back is on point; there are laugh out loud moments. There is a perfect mix of both comedy and drama, and the drama aspect of the film surprisingly carried some emotional weight as well -- we see that Duncan isn't the only character faced with some sort of emotional dilemma. The movie is quite formulaic but I guarantee you will be swayed away by its charm and hilarity.

Personally my favorite movie of 2013 so far. Funny, charming and enjoyable.

Rating: 9/10


  1. Good review, Shawna. I thought this was a pretty nice movie as well. :)

  2. Good review Shawna. Nothing special in terms of what it does with its plot, however, it's still a very charming, very lovable, and very fun movie to be apart of and just enjoy the hell out of.

  3. Good Review Shawna! It is a typical feel-good movie. Even though the plot is familiar it still manages to keep you entertained. It might make it to my Top 10 at the end of this year.