“The Way Way Back”

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Final a movie that is labeled a comedy that didn’t gross me out.  Produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures “The Way Way Back” is similar in tone to two other pictures produced by this company:  “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Set in a beach community, the credits identify it as Duxbury, MA, the plot revolves around two families who will spend the summer at their beach houses.  Steve Carell, not playing the nice guy, and his girl friend, Toni Collette, are both divorced.  Both are parents and have brought their children with them on this beach vacation.  Allison Janney, playing a constantly inebriated divorcee, is the next-door neighbor with two kids.

Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who also play small roles in the movie, this pair has the potential of being the next Coen “Brothers.”  The real stand outs in the movie are Liam James, who plays Collette’s son, and Sam Rockwell, who runs the local water park and befriends Liam James.

The antics of the adults and typical summer fun times at the water park produce many funny moments in the film.  The conflicts arise out of the interaction between the adult parents and their children.  The parents are really the ones with the problems, while most of the kids are the mature ones.

The combination of drama, comedy and good acting makes this an enjoyable movie.

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