Review: "The Way, Way Back"

Daniella Cuencas ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Movie Editor
The Way, Way Back centers on a teenager named Duncan, who goes on vacation with his mother, his mother’s boyfriend Trent, and his daughter. The movie is mostly about Duncan and the way he deals with the opposing character of Trent, portrayed by Steve Carell. The film also progresses to show how Duncan grows up to learn to take care of himself and his family. The movie was a great start to the summer season, and its blend of humor intertwined with sarcasm and angst was refreshing.
The plot was solid but was missing some key elements as the movie used some quick fixes for problems that needed to be addressed further. The ending also seemed to wrap up the film in a way that was a little too convenient and reminiscent of a typical Hollywood happy ending. Honestly, this film had many serious topics that were not addressed or developed thoroughly. The ending was contrived and lessened the problems as well as not allowing for a full resolution.
The acting, however, was strong. Liam James as Duncan succeeded in his role as an angsty teenager. He perfected the character’s slouch and moody facial expressions and delivered his lines in a believable manner. The only actor that seemed strange in his role was Steve Carell. At first, it was hard to accept the fact that he was being serious and not facetious. He still did a good job nonetheless. However, AnnaSophia Robb’s character was more flawed. Her character did not add much to the story and did little to help Duncan develop. I enjoyed her character, but her story ended up being short lived.
This movie was entertaining, but I would wait to watch it on DVD or on Netflix. The story was heartwarming and funny, but unfortunately, there was something missing in the film. The end was wrapped up too nicely and neatly to bring real closure. Moreover, there were some complicated characters and storylines, but none of them are fully explored to their complete potential. I enjoyed this movie, but there were definitely some issues.
Go see this: If you want something funny, simple, and a little bit serious.
Don’t see this: If you expect to be completely satisfied after seeing this movie.

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