Friday, September 18, 2009

Away We Go (2009)


When their parents decide to move on the verge of their baby's birth, mid-30's couple (John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph) decide to travel to old friends and family in order to find the perfect place to raise their unborn child.

Following the dark, depressing look at relationships of last years Revolutionary Road, Mendes has decided to take a little bit of a detour with this simple, small, yet likable family dramady. Rudolph and Krasinski are great as the central couple struggling to find their place in the world amidst mediocre careers, and a lack of real friends.

Their journey takes them through emotional struggles with family who are having relationship troubles themselves, friends, whose attitudes and viewpoints on raising children are rather insane, and those who suffer deep emotional issues. Through it all though there's a lovable charm about our main duo, they're goofy, not always the brightest, but always well meaning. Due to this watching the movie is rather simple as the main couple are so easy to relate to, they go through many of the basic life issues we all do.

Mendes calls in a powerful supporting cast to boost the in and out characters, including Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janey, and Melanie Lynskey. This adds to the emotional, and yet comedic, tone of the film, as these unsure characters must deal with all the complexities of trying to find a good place to raise their kids. The varying adventures flow rather smoothly, and each new destination offers a new look at each of our main characters, and the ones they care the most about.

Unfortunately not all goes quite as well. The movie isn't quite a comedy, nor is it quite a drama, and as such you find yourself caught between what to make of it and how to really enjoy it. Ultimately the movie is more of a drama, and as such it feels as if it undersells itself, not quite going for all the emotion it should, and instead settling on trying to be quirky. Much like its awful marketing campaign, it suffers from the Juno affect, the overbearing attempt to appear "edgy and quirky," when in fact it's a perfectly fine film without those detours.

That doesn't hurt the movie too much though, it's an enjoyable experience, with a nice realistic feel to it that'll tuck at your emotional and comedic sense.

Worth your time and attention, Away We Go may not be a Mendes' masterpiece, but it's an all around solid film.

1 better thoughts:

Zach said...

I thought this was a unique and enjoyable little film. I'll be honest though, some of the characters were a little too "out there" for me and I even felt uncomfortable watching it at times.

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