Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on 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…
I love this type of film. Not the whole cliched ‘Coming of Age’ thing, just a good simple film. And this is just that. The story is not all that original but is definite star with its execution. The film is brilliantly written, being both sharp and witty. Also, the camera work here is actually pretty flashy considering the theme and there is a surprising amount of solid shots and edits.
What makes this film what it is, however, is the characters and how they’re played. Steve Carell as the douche-bag ‘moms boyfriend’ is great and something we rarely see from him. The rest of the supporting adult cast are fine and Allison Janney really is quite funny towards the start of the film. The younger people in this picture are also really good and play there stereotypes perfectly; with a strong chemistry between Liam James (Duncan) and AnnaSophia Robb (Susanna). The guy who steals the show of course, is Sam Rockwell as Owen, and this is yet another movie that he makes. Backed up by good writing, Rockwell is humorous, physical and able to switch into more dramatic emotion in a heartbeat.
This film has a lovely soft romantic feel brushed over it, which is often my favourite part in any film. It’s heartwarming, engaging and laugh out loud funny on the odd occasion. It flies by, and apart from the obvious the plot lines and the cringe moments every now and again, you won’t want the film to end.
The Way Way Back is beautifully written and acted – 4/5