Away We Go is the newest movie by Sam Mendes, written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida starring John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey.
Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) are a happy couple, even if they have financial difficulties and rather crappy jobs. When they discover that Verona is pregnant and that Burt’s parents (Catherine O’Hara and Jeff Daniels) are moving away, they decide to start life anew and go on a (road) trip through the US, visiting friends and relatives to decide where that new life should happen.
Away We Go is another one of those movies where somebody somewhere decided that it is not fit for marketing. Oh, and what a bad choice again. It’s a wonderful, funny and heart-warming movie with a great soundtrack that I can only recommend. Over and over again.
Again, I think I know why this movie didn’t get any publicity: it starts with oral sex and not oral sex performed by a woman but on a woman and not oral sex to titillate but oral sex to make you laugh. And a film like that can never fly in the US. And when a film doesn’t fly in the US, it sure as hell won’t fly in Europe because that’s just the way things go. [Does that sound bitter?]
Anyway, this opening probably tells you everything you need to know about the movie. It’s a little over the top. It’s a little whimsical. But it’s so very charming. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
They have a great performance cast and they use them perfectly. Burt and Verona’s quest for belonging is not only shaped by the people they meet but also by their parenting skills. So we get the distanced, constantly drunk, snob mum (Allison Janney), the esoteric, anti-authoritarian, over-interpreting mum (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the family that seems perfect but actually isn’t so much (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey).
Yes, the supporting characters are clichés but that’s just the point: They stand for ideas. Ideas Burt and Verona want to try out before making their own thing out of them. So it didn’t really bother me.
Oh, and the soundtrack by Alexi Murdoch is absolutely beautiful.
Summarising, an indie comedy in the best sense of the word and not a film that you should leave out.