I’m not easily impressed when it comes to movies. For example, I thought “Silver Linings Playbook” was just ok. (I hated the ending.) However, “The Way Way Back” was a nice surprise. With a star-filled cast, it can be hit or miss. “The Way Way Back” is about a boy (Liam James) who goes on a beach vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his teenage daughter (Zoe Levin). Our introduction to Duncan on the drive down is through Trent’s eyes.
Trent: Duncan! On a scale of 1 to 10, what do you think you are?
Duncan: A 6.
Trent: I think you’re a 3! Since I’ve been dating your mom, I don’t see you putting yourself out there bud! You could try getting that score up at my beach house this summer!
Duncan is miserable because the only person he knows, his mother, is occupied by her boyfriend and his friends. One character calls the area “spring break for adults.” One day he ventures away from the shoreline and finds a water park. The Water Wizz manager (Sam Rockwell) befriends him and gives him a summer job.
“The Way Way Back” is a funny, sweet story about getting out of the ruts we sometimes put ourselves in, as children and as adults. It’s interesting to see Carell in a non-comedic role. Also, he happens to look really great. Note to the perpetually “nice” and “funny” guys who want the girl: get a tan. The movie does have a lot of funny moments, mostly provided by Rockwell and Allison Janney, who plays the nosy neighbor.
Did I mention you should go see “The Way Way Back”?