Posts Tagged ‘The Way Way Back’


Awkward 14 and a screwed-up family give this small dramedy a spark.  The film lets Sam Rockwell cut loose as the man/child owner of a waterpark at the shore.  But the story focuses entirely on the coming of age of Liam James.  He’s such a perfectly cast dweeb who needs a wake up.

It’s painful remembering the teenage years amid all the small family dramas playing out all around Liam.  He soon decides to run off and get a job at the water park, never telling any of them.  His life at the park is completely separate and elevated from his home life.  What drags the house down is the presence of his mom’s asshole boyfriend, an overbearing Steve Carell, in one of his most unlikable incarnations.


There’s a formula to it all, and that’s inevitable these days.  Still, Rockwell, the boy and the family quirks serve to keep the story engaging.  It’s another smallish comedy/drama, as with The Girl Most Likely, that is pleasant enough, better than most, and yet it doesn’t really break any new ground.