This isn’t The Descendants, mind you. It’s a very straightforward coming of age story about a boy named Duncan (Liam James) who is forced to spend the summer at the beach with his divorced mom (Collette) and her new boyfriend (Carell).
What starts off as torture for Duncan slowly gets better as he becomes friendly with the girl next door (Robb) and gets a job at a water park run by Sam Rockwell. Rockwell and Allison Janney, as a perpetually drunk neighbor, steal the movie from the rest of this great cast. Each scene featuring either actor is chock full of laughs. The rest of the movie doesn’t fare poorly, either.
Seeing Steve Carell play against type is great, the Massachusetts beach community setting is warm and inviting. The writing is so strong that a few one-note characters still come off as entertaining. The main issue with the film is that, at it’s heart, it’s about a young nerd becoming a man. And we’ve seen this movie before. We rarely get to see it with starts this big but it still feel familiar, even with the strong cast, script and direction.
The Way, Way Back opens July 5.
Source: Slash Film