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Away We Go

I really liked this tender and poignant little film co-written by one of my favorite authors Dave Eggers, and directed by Sam Mendes (of  “American Beauty” fame).  It stars The Office’s John Krasinski and SNL alum Maya Rudolph as Burt and Verona: a young couple about to have their first baby.  They don’t have many friends or family in the town where they live so they decide to travel to different cities in order to find a new home to raise their family.  Their interactions with various friends and family members (Allison Janney, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, and Jim Gaffigan) strewn across North America is the basis for the lessons they learn about what kind of family they want to make for themselves.  The writing of this film was on the whole subtle and true, with a few really funny gags thrown in, but at times it felt really forced and false (i.e. the whole interaction with Burt’s cousin, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal).  The themes of what it means to be a grown-up, a parent, a friend, and a family really resonated with me. I did have a problem with the chemistry between Krasinski and Rudolph.  Their characters are completely likable and relatable, yet somehow unknowable.  We enter their lives without knowing much about them as individuals or a couple, and the film does little to inform us as it progresses.  I also couldn’t figure out why these two are in love with each other: Burt is sort of innocent in a childlike way, laid back and doting while Verona is brooding and needy.  Throughout the entire film I kept questioning how these two hooked up and what their relationship was based upon.  In the end, however, I was able to put these thoughts aside and enjoy what really is a sweet and amusing little look into their journey.

Rating: 3 out of 4 Pig Toes.

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