The Way, Way Back – Five reasons why this was one of 2013's best comedies…
Low budget indie family comedy The Way, Way Back came out on DVD late last week and has already found its way into lots of people's collections. Released in July, it cost a tiny $5 million to make but ended up taking over $23 million at the box office, making it a big ol' success.
The film tells the story of 14-year old Duncan, who is dragged on a family holiday with his mum and her overbearing new boyfriend and proceeds to have a miserable time until he somehow scores a job at a local waterpark and everything changes…
It's very lo-fi and gently put-together, but well worth watching, here's five reasons why we think you'll love it:
It's funny, but very very affecting too
While there are plenty of gags in The Way, Way Back (particularly when Alison Janney is onscreen as the hilarious, drunken Betty), the script also throws up some gripping, and, at times, deeply uncomfortable topics. It carries you along superbly throughout both.
It shows a whole new side to Steve Carell
The Office star is best known for playing likeable characters, likeable idiots sometimes, and sometimes likeable gaffemeisters, but this time he plays someone who is thoroughly unlikeable. As Duncan's new stepfather Trent he is condescending and often downright horrible in a manner that will send shivers through you. This is proof that Carell can do more than goof around on screen.
It has an outstanding performance from Sam Rockwell
Unlike Carell, Sam Rockwell gets to be extremely likeable in The Way, Way Back. Playing slacker supreme and waterpark manager Owen, he oozes lazy charm and quiet charisma in a tremendously endearing performance.
It finds a new star in Liam James
The 17-year old actor, who's also been a regular on the US remake of The Killing for the last three seasons, is outstanding as the downtrodden, confidence-bereft Duncan. Given his character begins his journey as a total misery, a lesser performance would have seen audiences dismiss him, but the subtleties in James's scenes make him an endearing presence and a character it's easy to root for.
It's got a great soundtrack too
With a tracklisting that includes Ben Kweller, Wild Belle and Mr. Mister, it's a laid-back treat.
The Way, Way Back is out on DVD now in hmv stores all over the UK.