The Way Way Back (2013) review

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A summer drama with water-slides and a teenage boy trying to find his way in life; read the review for The Way Way Back after the jump.

Duncan is a fourteen year old with family problems. His father and mother have split up and the socially awkward boy is forced to go on a summer vacation to a beach house with his mom (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend (Steve Carell). With no friends, Duncan is forced to find something to do and, after he borrows a girl’s pink bicycle, he comes across a water park and its owner Owen (Sam Rockwell). the way way back 202x300 The Way Way Back (2013) review

Although there is a big age gap, Owen feels sorry for the teenager and, not only employs him at the waterpark, but also becomes a friend too.

The Way Way Back is a great film. There is drama and just enough comedy moments (mainly due to Rockwell) to keep the film interesting. All the actors do a great job. Steve Carell makes you forget about his funny creations in the Office, Anchorman and Bruce Almighty with a great turn as an overbearing and slimy Trent. Toni Collette is great as always, but it is Sam Rockwell who steals the show. Not only is he funny, but he is instantly likable too.

Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, two actors who also played employees at the water park, both did very well and its surprising that it’s their first film. If this is anything to go by, they both could have bright futures as film-makers.

It’s easy to see why The Way Way Back caused a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s even easier to see why Fox Searchlight paid close to $10 million to distribute it.

4 / 5 stars     

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