The Way Way Back is a coming of age tale written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. A timid 14 year old boy named Duncan, played by Liam James (The Killing, Psych), is visiting a summer home with his mother, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s daughter. He has a hard time interacting with others but befriends a manager of a water park who helps him break out of his shell.
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Oscar winning writers for The Descendants, created a wonderful story around a young boy Duncan. The film opened with an interesting conversation between Steve Carell and Liam James and I wasn’t sure what to expect after that. I was a little worried because at first I didn’t like the character Duncan. He didn’t say much and would just stare at people which made me feel awkward. But as I learned more about Duncan, I was able to like him more.
Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths, Iron Man 2) played a sarcastic yet charming manager of a local water park. His character, Owen, befriends Duncan and takes him under his wing by offering Duncan a summer job at the park. Sam Rockwell is great in every role he chooses and deserves some more recognition. He has a lot of talent and does wonderful in this film.
Steve Carell (The Office) takes on a different role than you normally see him. He plays the boyfriend of Duncan’s mother and he’s trying to hard to become rule over Duncan. This is the first time I’ve seen Carell play an antagonist in a film. He is always the funny guy but in The Way Way Back, he is the complete opposite. It was refreshing to see him in different role. There was a big supporting cast that included Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, Maya Rudolph and Anna Sophia Robb.
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash already proved they could write after becoming Academy Award winners for co-writing The Descendants with Alexander Payne. It wasn’t a fluke and they showed once more they are talented writers. Not only did they write the script but they decided to take up the directors chairs. You can tell they had fun making this movie because they even had small roles as employees at the water park.
The Way Way Back has become one of my favorite films this year and it is a movie that everyone should experience. It was a fun movie that was filled with plenty of laughs. The entire cast did a great job and Fixon & Nash showed they weren’t a one hit wonder. I definitely recommend The Way Way Back as the next film you see in theaters.