The Way Way Back (2013) – Encore Review


“‘Cause I know, okay? Don’t worry about how I know. My dad was the same way. That’s why I don’t like patterns and rules. And that’s why you can’t buy into that sh*t. You gotta go your own way. And you, my friend, are going your own way.” – Owen

Number of Times Seen – Twice (10 Oct 2013 and 15 Oct 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A shy teenager finds his personal courage and self awareness while on vacation with his mother and her boyfriend when he meets a free thinking manager of a local water park.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw not long after it came out and even after 6 years, it still sits heavily on mind.

This is an amazing coming of age film that not only is able to give us not only a great story but also a movie filled with so many interesting and diverse characters that are constantly evolving.

The plot of the movie works on various levels and the fact that they take their time developing these characters in a way that it allows us to get a real sense of who they each are and what their main objective are throughout the story.

They do a great job showing the story from the perspective of a teenager and even those of us who are far from that age are able to be brought back to that kind of mindset via the way that the story unfolds.

The main character needs to deal with his surroundings and the various people that he meets along the way and they do it so well.

The cast is superb all around and the two main standouts are Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell who are each able t evoke so many interesting emotions from both the characters and the viewer along the way.

The movie is able to give off a very nostalgic feel throughout even though despite the fact that it takes place in the present, they give us a feel of the 1980 by the look and feel of the story including the music.

Bottom Line – Excellent coming of age film that manages to bring us not only a great story, but one filled with lots of interesting and diverse characters. The story works on so many levels and they take the time to develop each of these characters so we can get a real sense of who they are and what their objective are. The story is told from the perspective of a teenager and even those of us who are far from that age are brought back to out teen years when seeing the way that this character needs to deal with his surroundings and the people that he meets along the way. The cast is great and the two stand outs are Carell and Rockwell who both manage to evoke different kinds of emotions along the way.  The film has a very nostalgic feel to it because despite it taking place in the present, it all feels as if it is connected to the 80’s throughout. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In an interview, writer/director Jim Rash said the script’s main inspiration was the opening scene, inspired by a similar conversation he had with his own stepfather when he was 14. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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