The Way, Way Back

“I’d rate this dream comedy a 10 out of Ten. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who co-wrote THE DESCENDENTS, hit the sweet spot with this poignant winner of a comedy about a mom (Toni Colette) who sticks her teen son (Liam James) with her bullying boyfriend (an outstanding Steve Carell, breaking type). The acting is aces, including Sam Rockwell as the water-park loser the kid bonds with”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. “5 stars (Highest Rating). Perfectly done, find-yourself-a-mentor comedies are hard to get right. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s appreciation for the Gen-X high points in the genre (MEATBALLS, REAL GENIUS) is evident in THE WAY, WAY BACK, as funny and affectionate as a coming-of-age lark can be. As a 14-year-old trying to deal with serious family annoyances during a summer at the beach, Liam James has the hunched-walk mope of a future defeatist. Which is why he needs Owen (Sam Rockwell), a take-nothing-seriously goof who becomes the kid’s manager and role model at a water park. With his rapid-fire delivery and big heart, Rockwell makes Owen his version of M.A.S.H.’s Hawkeye Pierce, but the film’s layers of well-observed truths go deeper than that.”—Joe Neumair, New York Daily News. PG-13. 103 Min.

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