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“Juno for the 30 somethings”

_ Away We Go _

Title: Away We Go

Away We Go may get lost in the sea of significant effects movies and house hold names. It doesn’t have familiarity going for it like say a Land of the Lost, Transformers or Star Trek. There is no hype or Burger King Merchandise. But this new comedy/drama directed by Sam Mendes is one of those lovable films with endearing characters and laugh out loud real life moments. Made for those who appreciate decent writing and heart it is a film that I am calling “Juno for the 30 somethings”. A film for those who want more than just a big budget explosion. Mendes directs his actors in a way that draws out the comedy without losing the realism.

Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) are expecting their first child and decide to travel around the continent trying to find the ideal place to settle in and start their family. Picking places that will put them close to friends or family they soon find that they are on an adventure as quirky as it is unpredictable. Each new stop helps them understand that no one is perfect and there is no right or wrong way to create the family dynamic. But all have something to teach, good and bad. This humorous look at family and child rearing gives Away We Go its funniest moments and made it a hit for me.

I was not sure how well these two TV personalities could carry a film with this much needed depth and character strength. This is more than just a string of sketch comedy moments. You need to like the characters and be on board with their journey from the start. If not, you lose the reason to engage. And though I never would have thought of Krasinski and Rudolph as a romantic on-screen couple, it works. In fact the unexpectedness of it almost makes it work better. They could easily be any other young couple from anywhere USA with issues and baggage and a spirit to find something fresh for their new family. Though the supporting cast has only brief moments they shine bright. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Allison Janney, two moms whose parenting skills are from different planets, show how different parents view their children. Though shocking in its absurdity you have to know that there are people in our world like this; which adds to the humor.

Away We Go, rated R for language and some sexual content, is an adult intended film. The life issues and decisions would not appeal to anyone under the age of 19 regardless of the rating. None of the content is gratuitous or shock driven. It comes across as real dialogue and even the sex scenes, which are few, are humorous in how unglamorous and realistic they are. Yet parents may be highly uncomfortable watching these moments with their teens in tow, so go enjoy this and drop the kids off somewhere else. I give Away We Go 3.75 out of 5 baby strollers. Strong characters in laugh out loud moments mixed in with deep, heartfelt, life situations make this a film that delivers.

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com) (6/01/09)

(3.75 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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