The Way, Way Back gave me one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in a theater in a long time. The star-studded cast delivers a great performance in this heartwarming coming-of-age film. I would highly recommend this film to anyone. It's funny, sad, happy and leaves you feeling good when you walk out.
When I first saw the cast for this movie I thought it could go one of two ways.
1) It could work out to be a phenomenal movie because there is so much talent involved.
2) It could be one of the worst movies ever....because there is so much talent involved.
It's rare that a collection of established actors like the one you see in The Way, Way Back works out in the audience's favor. This movie succeeds wonderfully. The movie follows 14-year-old Duncan who is forced to join his mom, her boyfriend and his daughter on a trip to his beach house. Duncan and Trent (Steve Carell) do not get along and that places an even darker cloud over Duncan's vacation. No matter what happens, he can't seem to find a way to fit in. The neighbor, Betty (Allison Janney), is a crazy person (but still hilarious) and her son is a super nerd. Her daughter, Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb), is a different story. She's a couple years older and she's also trying to figure out what life is all about.
The one happy thing Duncan has on this trip is his new friend, Owen, played by Sam Rockwell. Owen is the hilarious and slacker manager of a local water park and he takes Duncan under his wing. Duncan uses the water park as his escape from the madness at home and we have the great opportunity to watch him grow as a person.
One of the things that really stood out to me about this movie is how real it is. There weren't many moments where I thought, "Yeah, like that would ever happen." I almost feel like I had been in his shoes before. It's a fantastic film and absolutely worth your time.