Imagine that we're talking about movies. The ones we like and hate most, some favorite scenes, scary or even gross ones. Or we're not chatting about cinema at all, but something in the conversations lead us to remember something from a fictional story that we've seen on the screen. We remeber so many movies, but are able to just quote a few, because they go back to that recess on our mind where they live forever.
A 14 years old boy involuntarily spends his summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend and his unpleasant daughter in The Way Way Back. At the first scene, we catch that something is wrong there. The couples are on the front of the old car; the girl is alone on the backseat and the shy 14 is on the trunk. Yep. On the trunk, with his back to everybody else. Or it's just the opposite, actually.
What would sound like heaven, a summer on the beach, is a living hell for him. He has no place on this scenario, but slowly he starts to make his own, between missfits as himself.
I wasn't too captivated by this film, and at some points I was even a bit bored, despite the many endearing elements on this movie. The story is well constructed, the characters are alive (a bit cliche, but they are truly there). The cast is outstanding, and the main reason why I choose to see it on this day. I was a bit disappointed by Steve Carell's jerky character - I thought this one would be one of those films in which he is so weird and cute, but no. Toni Collette and Alyson Janney are a joy in their awkward characters - to think that Collette was the weird teen once, in the amazing Muriel's Wedding, 1994. Liam James is amazing as the shy and intelligent 14 old Duncan. But Sam Rockwell and Maya Rudolph take the screen to themselves, especially Rockwell, despite their little time on it.
A summer that changes someone's life can be way, way back, but it is ever present in who we are and will be. They are an important part of the tales about coming of age. On that matter, we can remember many movies about the subject. We'll talk about two or three, the other may be lost somewhere in our memories. I'm not sure if some years from now this one will come to my mind, but on this Saturday night he told me some things that I'll carry with me for at least a few days. Or a bit longer, maybe.
|The Way Way Back. Directed and written by Nat Faxon, Jim Rash. With:|
Liam James, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette. USA, 2013, 103
min., Dolby/Dolby Digital, Color (Cable TV).