I'll say this about Away We Go - at least it is better than the previous film from Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road. But then again that isn't saying much.
I couldn't tell if this was supposed to be a comedy or a drama and I don't think it knew itself. Obviously it was trying to be both but it straddled the line too much and ended up not really working on either end. On the comedic side, it felt like a boring ripoff of Flirting With Disaster. As a drama, it strained way too hard.
I didn't really have much desire to see this but I was curious. Sean and Rebecca loved loved loved it. Erik saw it at BAM based on their recommendation and hated it so much that he sent them mean texts while watching it. A few others I spoke to really enjoyed it and others hated it. I wanted to like it but was also pretty sure that I wouldn't. I was also interested to see if it was worse than (500) Days of Summer. It isn't.
You'd think that I'd like this movie based on the theme of how one's life is about to dramatically change because of a baby. I can relate (times two). SHR and I also have discussed moving - just like the couple in this film. The idea of driving around looking for a place to settle is one that interests me. But the movie just doesn't work for me.
John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are fine in their respective roles. But the people they come across are so incredibly irritating (for the most part) in a horribly unfunny way. Plus, I felt like a large percentage of the dialogue in this movie is stilted and not realistic. Real people don't talk like the characters in this movie. I mean, I guess Dave Eggers and his wife do but no one else does. Real people don't find themselves hanging out in a bathtub with their sister discussing life's big adventures. That scene was as annoying as the first date at IKEA scene from (500) Days of Summer.
So while I didn't hate it as much as some, I can't even remotely recommend this film. And while we're at at - how about some fun ripping of it?
From Jeremy's review, "The movie went from enjoyable to tolerable to unbearable in three acts. First time parents and people in the midst of a move are under enough stress without having to suffer as many fools as these two did."
Snippets from the NY Times review, "The smug self-regard of this movie takes a while to register, partly because Ms. Rudolph and Mr. Krasinski are appealing and unaffected performers and partly because the writing has some humor and charm. The opening scene, which finds the couple in bed, is disarmingly sweet and candid in its depiction of the sexual rapport of longtime lovers. There is real intimacy and affection between them, which is wonderful until, before too long, it becomes as insufferable as the songs by Alexi Murdoch, which similarly wear out their rueful, faux-naïve welcome.
To observe that they inhabit no recognizable American social reality is only to say that this is a film by Sam Mendes, a literary tourist from Britain who has missed the point every time he has crossed the ocean. The vague, secondhand ideas about the blight of the suburbs that sloshed around American Beauty and Revolutionary Road are now complemented by an equally incoherent set of notions about the open road, the pioneer spirit, the idealism of youth."
How about this one from my friend Vanessa on my 2 star Netflix review, " I don't know anyone like these people and hope to God that I never do."
And my absolute favorite - from Matt Army's status update when the movie came out, "Matt hates the modern yuppie and their inability to realize that they are the modern yuppie. Does "Away We Go" look good to you? Yuppie!"
To which Chris Larry responded, "Oh please, I guess guilty as charged under that retarded definition. Whats the next windmill? On a side note: I escaped yuppiehood to see Hangover monday....good times...def Old School 2."
I'm so glad I saw this movie! The commentary about it is A+ material even if the movie treads along in C territory.
Directed by Sam Mendes
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