Friday, July 19, 2013

The Way, Way Back

A lonely teenager (Liam Jones), so introverted he can barely get out two words at once, vacations with his soft-spined mother (Toni Collette) and her callous new boyfriend (Steve Carell) at his summer home. There he falls in with the shiftless manager of the local water park (Sam Rockwell) who gives him a job and takes him under his wing. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who both recently took home Oscars for co-writing The Descendants with Alexander Payne (and whom both have moderately amusing supporting roles here),  The Way, Way Back feels like 1,000 movies before it, so much so that with each principal character's introduction, you can immediately and correctly guess their fates. What is interesting, as with most of his work, is Rockwell who continues to cement himself as one of the finest actors of his generation, here doing what he can with a tepid comic script and leaving an indelible mark in his final scene.