The Way Way Back

We've all been there.

Comedy Drama
103 min     7.1     2013     USA


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.


Wuchak wrote:
_**A boy coming-of-age near Cape Cod and more**_ A 14 year-old boy (Liam James) struggles to fit-in with the family & friends of his mother’s new beau (Steve Carell) as they partake of a vacation at his beach house in the Cape Cod area. The teen finds a quasi-mentor (Sam Rockwell) at a water park while developing a friendship with the cute neighbor girl (AnnaSophia Robb). Toni Collette plays the mother, Allison Janney a friend and Amanda Peet a flirty woman. “The Way Way Back” (2013) is a coming-of-age flick that meshes elements of films like "The Squid and the Whale" (2005), “The Summer of ’42” (1971), “Meatballs” (1979), “Swimming” (2000) and “Lawn Dogs” (1997), but this is arguably the best of them. Part of the genius of the movie is that the potential stepfather (Carell) isn’t made out to be totally evil nor is the seeming mentor (Rockwell) perfect. They’re both flawed men with presumably good intentions toward the boy, but only one proves that he’s a worthy father-figure. Moreover, the all-around writing/acting smacks of real life. AnnaSophia is super cute on the female front while Zoe Levin is alluring as the pouty, bratty stepsister. Meanwhile Andria Blackman has a standout cameo as the girl in a yellow bikini. The film runs 1 hour, 43 minutes, and was shot in the Cape Code region of Massachusetts: Wareham & nearby Onset; Marshfield & nearby Duxbury. GRADE: A/A-