The Way, Way Back, rated PG-13

Starring Sam Rockwell, Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette

Austin Family critical rating: 4 of 5 stars
Austin Family family-friendly rating: 4 of 5 stars

This first feature film directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash is a coming-of-age summer comedy, which is poised to be this summer’s major indie hit, along the lines of something like Little Miss Sunshine or Juno.

Duncan (Liam James) is a teenager on a summer vacation to Cape Cod with his mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carrell). Feeling increasingly isolated from the adults, Duncan finds a friend and a mentor in Owen (Sam Rockwell), a manager at the local water park. Over the course of the film, with Owen’s help and the beginnings of a summer romance, Duncan grows into a stronger and more confident young man. The movie also has a lot of fun with its primary location, the water park. The Way, Way Back is fun and moving in the way that summer movies used to be (but unfortunately aren’t anymore – just see Man of Steel for proof).

Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.


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