Sunday, July 26, 2009
Away We Go!
I had an independent film buff’s dream by seeing Away We Go and 500 Days of Summer on the same day.
Away We Go touched my heart more than I ever expected, and that’s in large part to Maya Rudolph’s understated yet beautiful performance. She is a wonderful actress that brought rich texture to her modern mom-to-be character of Verona. Maya can be completely goofy, as clearly illustrated from her SNL years, but there’s no problem taking her performance and her character seriously. However, there is one scene in which Verona is telling a bedtime story to her boyfriend’s niece. She’s talking through the girl’s stuffed frog, and John Krasinski is the stuffed crab; their comedy backgrounds are exposed because both their voices had me in hysterics!
This is a simple story about a couple (John Krasinski of “The Office” and Maya Rudolph) expecting their first child. They travel around the U.S. and Canada, looking for the perfect home to raise their family. The screenplay was written by the writing couple, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. These two are pretty hip cats in the writing world, and I hope they have more movies in them. Their screenplay subtlety touches on our definition of what makes a family and true meaning of love, commitment and parenthood.
Do not misunderstand; most of this movie is a complete crack-up. The family and friends they visit are one of the nuttiest groups you’ll ever encounter in such a short film. Allison Janney almost steals the whole movie as Verona’s completely inappropriate ex-co-worker, whose mothering of her two young children should never be emulated by anyone!
At first, Krasinski and Rudolph seem like an odd pair, but by the film’s end, the viewer believes this couple is the real deal, and you’re rooting for them to make it.
This film avoids clichés. There are no characters misunderstanding each other, a scene that puts the pregnancy in danger and a false breakup just to have the main players dramatically reconcile in the third act. This is a quiet movie about a family finding their place and I’m glad this movie can find its place too. Amongst the big special effect-laden blockbusters and raunchy comedies, it’s a treat to see this well thought out, smart, funny little film going to battle with the big boys.
Posted by Colleen at 11:14 PM