9: The Way Way Back…

The Way Way Back

“You’ve got to go your own way, and you, my friend, are going your own way.” – Owen (Rockwell)

Starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, and Liam James. Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Production Budget: $5 Million (allegedly) — Opening Weekend: $3.4 Million.






Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

MetaCritic: 67/100

Lazy Goomba: 8.7/10


Plot Summary

Awkward and shy 14 year-old Duncan (James) is dragged along on a family trip with his mother and her obnoxiously blunt boyfriend Trent (Carell). Not finding a fit with Trent around, Duncan rides his bike to the Water Wizz water park to escape. It’s there where he meets Owen (Rockwell) and begins to realize that life isn’t all about trying to fit in, it’s about being yourself.

Lazy Goomba’s Thoughts

The Good: I really enjoyed this movie. I felt that Liam James did a tremendous job of depicting the role of a modern teenager who is feeling out of place in the world and trying to find his way. The true awkwardness in some of his dialogue and his movements really adds to the authenticity of the film.  Also, in the past couple films that I have seen Rockwell in, I have really enjoyed. I don’t know what it is about his character that stands out, but I often enjoy the people he is playing (see: Seven Psychopaths and MOON! easily one of the best I’ve seen in a while).

The Bad:  I usually really like Steve Carell, but if you have seen this movie, you will agree with me in saying that he is a massive asshole in this movie. I hated his guts. The whole part where he tells his girlfriends son that he is a 3 out of 10, I wanted to punch him in the jibs. At such a young age you need to have your confidence boosted, not demolished. Check it out below:

Trent: Duncan! On a scale of 1 to 10, what do you think you are?”

Duncan: A 6!”

Trent: I think you’re a 3! Since I’ve been dating your mom, I don’t see you putting yourself out there bud! You could try getting that score up at my beach house this summer!”

See what a dick!

There were also a few cheesy plot points but that is to be expected in feel-good family films.

The Communityest: There are two directors of this film, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, both of whom are wonderful writers. I believe they both collaborated on the script for The Descendants, which was an award winning screenplay. Also, Jim Rash, is the same guy who plays the dean in the show Community. I literally collapse laughing everytime he walks into the scene.



Lazy Goomba
Movie Critic/Cat Enthusiast








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