Away We Go Reviews
I really hated the portal of the parents as selfish for moving away to fulfill a life long dream. The couple came across as way more selfish for not being happy for them.
Some of the other women in this were not convincing either. One still breast feeding her toddler (okay, I realise there women who do this, but all the other stuff as well?) and the "perfect" mum who goes pole dancing to deal with her sadness over miscarriage.
The guy dresses like a dork all the way through this and looks about 20. The vagina line made me cringe too, plus the opening scene. Just two people you don't want to think of in that context!
It has its nice moments, it's not all horrible, and I'm glad I got to see it, but it's certainly not a movie I ever want to see again.
Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) are expecting their first baby. When Burt's parents, the couple's sole reason for moving to their current non-descript town, decide to leave the US, the couple go on a trip cross-country to find somewhere to raise their child.
When the film opens we are given a introduction to the solid relationship that the two main characters share, as while performing oral sex on his partner, Burt candidly talks about the theory of different vaginal flavours due to menopause or pregnancy. This duly recieves a slap in the face mid-performance, and thankfully for us he was talking about the latter. So then begins the journey of Burt & Verona as they mould the future of their family. John Krasinski and especially Maya Rudolph are a delight as the two endearing parents-to-be. In fact all the performances are appealing and subtly real and the whole cast pitches in. The real highlights though are the eccentric characters on our protaganists travels, mainly Alison Janney as the witty and offensive ex-colleague and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the free spirited sister. They are particular standouts in an exceptional cast. Despite mainly being a humorous road-trip, it's peppered with some wise and wonderful scenes and has some moments of heartbreaking realism. The soundtrack is also filled with wonderful gems of music and despite it's style, it's missing only one thing...a Nick Drake song.
Mendes has equipt himself well once more and delivered an unusually heartwarming and quite lovely little film.
This is a nice little indie dramedy that, even though it might come off as a bit smug or possibly to sappy at times, and has an ending I didn't completely buy, is a nice little piece of entertainment that features some great moments, boasts terrific performances from the two leads and the notable array of supporting players, and made me feel a little less cynical, but not oblivious to reality.
It might be a tad meandering at times, but I never actually got bored or anything. And it is weird to think that Mendes helmed this, but I don't think this will be a black spot on his career. If you want to see a 21 st century film about pregnancy that isn't overflowing with gross out humor and profanity, or chock full of wittiness and teen speak, then this might be a film for you.
Also, even though I hate to use the word hipster, it is a look that fits Krasinski well, what with his beard, glasses, and shaggy hair.
It's odd that a film about two people wanting so desperately to do the right thing can be so alienating.
When they are on the cross-country trip around North America, as the visits start mounting up, it's hard not to feel like a guest at a dinner party where everyone regales you with advice until you want to tell them to shut up. Eventually this undoes the solid work by Krasinski and Rudolph, who convince as the loving couple searching for a home - although so self-contained and insular is their relationship that, at times, watching them can be a distant experience. It's a shame, for this is a story with its heart most definitely in the right place.
I've seen so many instances in real life where the compelling urge is to breed and carry on the lifeline; giving no real thought to what it is that you are getting yourself into. This film should be required watching to all who wish to procreate.
Aside from the aforementioned cautionary tale, you have set pieces using different locales as backdrops, which allows the supporting charactors a chance to shine. Allison Janney is hilarious as the brash friend who apparantly has no filter between her brain and her mouth. Maggie Gyllenhaal is equally fresh as a quasi-zen intellectual who is a arrogant elitist underneath.
Where the film really comes into focus is in the final third where the expectant couple travel to Miami to help a brother whose wife has just he and their 6 year old daughter - a really nice scene at the table when the brother says that his wife has destroyed any chance of his daughter having a normal life.
This scene is followed by a wonderful one where the expectant couple make vows to each other while side by side on a trampoline; which leads to another nice scene the next morning where the expectant mother is sitting under an orange tree telling a poignant memory of her father.
Overall this is well acted, honestly filmed and has a nice story arc. It is hampered a bit by its own format; having a bit too much of a set stance to really truly shine - but it is a worthwhile watch regardless.
AWAY WE GO is one of the best films of 2009. A very welcome stylistic change for Sam Mendes.