“The Way, Way Back” is one of the funniest comedies of the year but I am confused as to why it is being given a limited release as if it is an indie movie. This movie should get a wide release and a decent marketing campaign and I don’t mean that in a negative way. It is a broad comedy that could easily be adopted by mainstream audiences.
The story involves a quiet, nerdy kid named Duncan (Liam James), who finds himself staying in the summer home of Trent (Steve Carrell), his mom’s new boyfriend. In the opening scene Trent tells Duncan that on a scale of one to ten that he is a three. That should tell you everything you need to know about this guy. Duncan eventually gets a job at a water slides park run by Owen played by Sam Rockwell.
Over the course of the summer Duncan will gradually come out of his shell and stand up to Trent. These aspects are nothing new in a comedy drama and I was a little surprised that the didn’t dig a little deeper in to these characters. Like I said this is a hilarious movie but it doesn’t really have any aspirations to rise above the material and give us something new.
As young Duncan, Liam James gives a good performance. He holds his own around a pretty large, veteran cast. Sam Rockwell really steals the show as Owen. I wouldn’t mind seeing a whole movie about his man child. There scenes together are really the heart of the film.
Steve Carrell steps out of his comfort zone to play a despicable character. Prepare yourself to not like him at all and that is not meant in a negative way. Toni Collette plays Duncan’s mom and i’m sad to say that her character is vastly underwritten. She is good but is held back by a role that should of had more depth.
“The Way, Way Back” is an entertaining flick and will probably be remembered as the break out indie movie of summer 2013. I on the other hand will remember it is a funny movie that didn’t quite find it’s true potential.