The Way Way Back – Review

A beautifully awkward coming of age story sees Liam James as Duncan, an uncomfortable 14 year old, stuck in a summer house with his mum, here new autocratic boyfriend and his less than amicable daughter. Duncan obviously hates his new ‘father figutre’. Next door is a merry neighbour a full on divorcee who wise cracks with a mojito in hand, her young son with a lazy eye and her very pretty teenage daughter.

Luckily Duncan stumbles across the Water Wizz water park, which is run by the eccentric and hilarious eternal man child Owen played by Sam Rockwell.  Here he finds friendship, respect and self worth as well as his much needed father figure.

The performances are all spot on with no one letting down the wonderful script by Nat FaxonJim Rash who also both appear in the film and directed it too! Steve Carell makes a great bad guy as evil step dad Trent, stepping out of his usual likeable comedy characters.Sam Rockwell and Liam James steal the show with a moving relationship full of quirky and hilarious banter. Liam James perfectly executes the awkward teen with some wonderfully cringe worthy scenes.

This really is a pitch perfect movie. It’s funny, moving and real. It tackles stereotypes, broken homes and the family hierarchy. It really was one of the best and most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long time.

The Way Way Back is released in New Zealand on 8 August.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar