Away We Go

Film, Comedy
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Sam Mendes began shooting ‘Away We Go’ while the editing suite was still warm from ‘Revolutionary Road’. You can imagine why, after that gruelling anatomy of a failed marriage, he was drawn to the story of a happy and well-adjusted, if under-prepared, couple on the threshold of family life. Let’s hope it was more fun to make, anyway, because it’s pretty insufferable to watch.

The script, by husband and wife Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, follows semi-slacker thirtysomethings Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) as they search for the perfect site to raise their unborn child, zipping from Arizona to Wisconsin, Colorado to Carolina. Along the way, they encounter relatives and old friends including Burt’s hippy-dippy parents (Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara) and neo-feminist childhood pal (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Verona’s braying former colleague (Allison Janney) and two old buddies (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey) and their adopted kids.

Krasinski and Rudolph are amiable company and there’s some nice scenic photography from Ellen Kuras (shot mostly in Connecticut). But the film’s laboured humour and self-satisfaction grate, as does its twee indie-acoustic soundtrack. That every supporting character is depicted as insufferable or pitiable or both would be bad enough; what’s worse is that the couple discover nothing about themselves that wasn’t obvious from the opening, unless you count the banal dictum that there’s no place like home. A screenplay that jokes about the lack of tension between its leads should at least have something to say about their interaction with the rest of the world. This doesn’t.

By: Ben Walters



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 18 2009
98 mins

Cast and crew

Sam Mendes
John Krasinski
Allison Janney
Catherine O'Hara
Jeff Daniels
Josh Hamilton
Jim Gaffigan
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maya Rudolph
Carmen Ejogo
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