The Way Way Back (2013) Film Review


My review of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s dual directorial debut, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival feature The Way, Way Back. Starring Toni Collette, Liam James, Allison Janney, and Steve Carell, Faxon and Rash’s feature is a derivative and disappointing debut whose greatest faults lay in its lazy execution. Though featuring inspired performances by supporting actors Carell and the inimitable Sam Rockwell as Owen, a water park manager a la Bill Murray in Meatballs, The Way, Way Back is an insipid and boring rip-off of such features as Sam Mendes’s Away We Go (2009) and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s spectacular Little Miss Sunshine (2006). A hit at its Sundance ’13 premiere, Faxon and Rash’s film is likely to make awards waves it does not deserve.

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