Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, writers of ‘The Descendants’, deliver a coming-of-age charmer with this witty, nostalgic directorial debut. Liam James stars as 14-year-old Duncan, whose divorced mother (Toni Collette) is dating Steve Carell’s know-it-all Trent. As Trent chips away at his potential stepson’s ailing confidence, Duncan finds a new friend in Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the local waterpark. Rockwell is hugely entertaining as the casually mischievous, cheerfully lazy manager whose quickfire, deadpan humour throws awkward Duncan into a state of both confusion and excitement: here’s a father figure who wants to entertain him, not lecture him. This film’s masterstroke is showing everything from Duncan’s point of view, without the traditional cloying narration. A telling story is told through quick glances and snatched conversations witnessed by Duncan while the adults knock back the booze. This also marks what may be Allison Janney’s funniest performance to date: her cheerful, outspoken drunk next door is an absolute hoot.
Cast and crew