The Way, Way Back
Category: Family, Drama, Comedy
Age Restriction: PG13
Well known names: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Liam James
One of my favourite movies this year by far! Real life people and scenarios showing us honest mistakes, true relationships and the meaning of family.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her boyfriend with whom he doesn’t see eye to eye, and her boyfriend’s daughter. He has a rough time fitting in as he isn’t the popular one and didn’t want to be there in the first place. His mother’s boyfriend often belittles him and shows behaviour bordering on emotional abuse.
Duncan eventually discovers an old ‘girly’ bike in the garage and takes off to explore the town. While cycling around he comes to the ‘Water Wizz’ water park and decides to spend the day there. The owner of the park decides to take Duncan under his wing and introduces him to the staff and what the water park is all about. At the end of the day he decides to hire Duncan to do odd jobs around the park and there the journey starts that will forever change how Duncan sees himself.
As the story unfolds, you see how everyone in life has an untold story. How we all have issues, hurt and pain to deal with, but also how there are amazing opportunities waiting for all of us if we will just rise up and grab them with both hands. This isn’t about riches, fame or success, but rather about family, friends and happiness. We often fall into our own traps that we have set up to keep others out instead of enjoying life and every moment, even in the awkward aching stages. Every story also has a bully, but even that bully needs a happy ending and perhaps you are just the person to help them see that.
The way, way back has restored my faith in modern-day films, where a real story with real-life issues is told in a manner that the whole family can watch. The language is contained, there is no blood and gore, no nudity and no awkward moments where you have to explain what just happened on-screen. It’s filled with laughs, but the serious moments hit you in the gut as was intended. Enjoyed every moment!