The Way Way Back

  • 12
  • Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (2013)
  • US
  • 99 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Admirers of the 2006 indie breakout hit Little Miss Sunshine will get more than a hint of deja vu from this melancholy coming-of-age comedy, which not only borrows the family-on-a-trip story but also two core cast members (Steve Carell and Toni Collette) in strikingly similar roles. This time the lead character is a teenage boy (Liam James) being taken on a seaside holiday by his ditzy mother (Collette) and her resentful boyfriend (Carell). Unable to fit in with his teen peer group, Duncan becomes a regular at the Water Wizz theme park, where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with its maverick manager Owen. Sam Rockwell gives it his best shot as the eccentric but ultimately reliable Owen, but whenever he's not on screen, the movie sinks into a torpor. Carell's spiteful asides are darkly funny on occasion but, tonally, they stand out like a sore thumb in a film that otherwise feels like a decade of bittersweet US indie comedy mashed down into an hour and 45 minutes.

Plot Summary

Coming-of-age comedy starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Liam James. Fourteen-year-old Duncan is dreading going on a summer vacation with his mother Pam, her overbearing boyfriend Trent and his daughter Steph. But when Duncan is befriended by laid-back water park manager Owen, his life begins to take a turn for the better.

Cast and crew

Cast

Trent
Steve Carell
Pam
Toni Collette
Betty
Allison Janney
Susanna
AnnaSophia Robb
Owen
Sam Rockwell
Caitlin
Maya Rudolph
Duncan
Liam James
Kip
Rob Corddry
Joan
Amanda Peet
Peter
River Alexander

Crew

Director
Nat Faxon
Director
Jim Rash

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Released 23 Aug 2013
Certificate 12
Categories
Comedy
Drama

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