My Review: The Way Way Back

Photo: Chris White

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash pull triple duty as actors, writers and directors for The Way Way Back, a film starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Alison Janney.

The film follows a very shy teenager named Duncan (Liam James) who goes on summer vacation with his mom Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and Trent’s daughter Steph (Zoe Levin). Duncan finds it hard to fit in anywhere and normally just stays around the house. 
We see how Trent treats Duncan right in the opening scene, giving him a “3” on a scale of 1-10 when referring to how Duncan is as a person. Trent’s constant pestering gets to Duncan, resulting in him finding refuge in the Water Wizz water park and its manager, Owen (Sam Rockwell).
Duncan gets a job at Water Wizz – unannounced to his mom and her boyfriend – and an unorthodox method of encouragement from Owen propels Duncan to come out of his shell. 
It’s sad to sit there and watch Duncan get treated like he does. Throughout the film, viewers are found rooting for him and wanting to punch Trent – well at least I wanted to. Luckily in the end, Duncan fights back and Pam realizes how much Trent has changed her, wanting to go back to her old self.
With great bits of comedy and a touching, lesson-learning story line, The Way Way Back is one of the best movies of the year. Unfortunately, like The Kings of Summer, it’ll get overlooked by other blockbuster films. A tagline for this film is “We’ve all been there.” Although it’s a fictional story, you can relate to it in some way. And that’s what makes The Way Way Back a must see.

I Give It A: B+

Check Out The Trailer Here

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