I am gonna be completely honest with you, summer is not really my favorite time of year. It is too warm, there are mosquitos everywhere and people expect you to throw off all your clothes for like swimming trunks or bikinis or whatever you are expected to wear. I am a guy who prefer to sit inside all day and watch movies rather than walk around outside without a shirt. Plus, it is not the best time for me since I got pollen allergy. I am more of a spring/autumn guy. But alas, I have to endure the summer every fucking year. Is there anything about the usmmer that I like? Yes… movies set during the summer. And today we are taking a look at such a movie.
Ladies and gentlemen… “The Way Way Back”!
This movie is about the story of shy 14-year old Duncan (Liam James). He and his mother Pam (Toni Collette) are going with Pam’s boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his daughter Steph (Zoe Levin) to their summer house near a beach. Of course Duncan isn’t too happy about it considering he is shy and a little antisocial. But one day when he goes to the water park “Water Wizz” he meets a man named Owen (Sam Rockwell) who he quickly befriends and starts haning with every day. Hell, Owen even gives him a job at the park where he gets to meet the employees there and just have something to do all day… but neither his mom nor Trent knows about this little new occupation of this. And this is kind of what we get. We get to see Duncan interact with the people who work at the park and also see how his friendship with Owen evolves. We also get to see how Duncan’s relationship with his mom and “family” kind of bounces around. And I have to say I really liked the story of “The Way Way Back”. Sure, some things in it are very familiar and not original but that is not the idea of a thing like this. The idea of a thing like this is to take those familiar things but keep them entertaining in it’s own way. And this movie does this perfectly. The story was fun.
The characters in this movie are perfectly portrayed. Not jsut in the acting department, but also because they are very well-written. The characters are very realistic and have some really good dialogue. I also feel like all the characters are very unique and feel different from each other (in a good way). For example, Liam James plays the shy yet likeable main character in this movie, he is just a guy who you know you will like. Then we got Steve Carell who surprisingly plays a pretty convincing dick in this movie. Not saying he is completely unlikeable, he just happens to be a bit of a dick. And I can’t hold it anymore… Sam Rockwell in this movie is honestly fantastic! He was really made to play this character, just like him this character is wise-cracking and full of energy and he did it perfectly. I also think his and Liam James’ chemistry was fantastic. It is rare for me to see that kind of chemistry these days. So as you may have guessed, I liked the characters in the movie.
The music is kind of interesting because the majority of tracks you here are licensed tracks. Sure, there are a bunch of original tracks as well done by Rob Simonsen that all work, but you don’t notice them as much. And I have to admit that the licensed tracks didn’t really bother me. I actually think they worked to really sell the summer-feel of this movie. And I have to say that the tracks were pretty enjoyable. And the original score was good as well.
The camera work, while not groundbreaking, was still really good. The camera guy for this movie really knew how to frame a scene and just make the entire thing look good. I also feel like I have to touch on how this movie isn’t a straight up comedy but rather a comedy with a fair amount of dramatic bits. Sure, none of the dramatic parts made me cry, but they did actually get to me. And I have to say that at first I thought “Okay this movie is pretty okay”. But as I got further into it I really started liking it more and more.
This movie was pretty well-received by both critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has an 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And finally on imdb.com it has a 7,4/10.
“The Way Way Back” is a movie filled with a ton of funny moments, some good drama, a ton of good performances and a lot of heart. It also has one really catchy soundtrack. So maybe it is time to hand out my final score. My Final score for “The Way Way Back” is surprisingly a 9,55/10 which grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. I was really surprised how much I liked this.
“The Way Way Back” is now reviewed.
A summer movie in october… weird.