The Way, Way Back, is a touching coming of age story. It's a charming little film, centered on an awkward teen who learns harsh truths about adult life while coming to grips with himself and overcoming the often painful throes of adolescence. If you're a fan of Fox Searchlight's quirky, mass appeal indie flicks (Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Ruby Sparks, etc.) you'll probably like The Way, Way Back. However, if you were one of those unfortunate geeky souls who struggled to find acceptance as a teen, you might just love this film.
|BETA posture in full effect.|
Aside from the uber geek champion of the universe, The Way, Way Back features a stellar supporting cast as well. Steve Carell is cast against type, playing the douche of all douches, AnnaSophia Robb is the enigmatic/tortured hot chick next door that Duncan's character pines over (and she does a daaaamn fine job filling out dAt bikini), Allison Janney steals every scene she's in as the neighborhood lush/cougar. Then, there's Sam Rockwell. He's the wacky water park manager who takes Duncan under his wing and encourages our forlorn protagonist to live, to love, and to break dance. Liam James is the film's tortured soul, but Rockwell is it's pulsing heart. Watching the two interact onscreen together, despite the film's many, and I mean many, "coming of age flick" cliches, felt almost magical at times. Of course, again, I'm kind of biased here. It appears that there is a little Duncan left inside this blackened heart of mine, no matter how much Slayer I pump through the stereo.