It only takes one person to make a difference in your life and that difference can be positive, negative and change the trajectory of your life as you know it forever. Who was that person for you? For me, it was David Blackburn. He encouraged me to become better in a way that no one else could when I was 15 years old. It is because of Mr. Blackburn that my biggest dream came true of being a performer on Broadway.
In THE WAY WAY BACK that person was Owen (Sam Rockwell) for our lead character Duncan (Liam James), who is on vacation with his Mom (Toni Collette), her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carrell) and his daughter Steph (Joey Levin).
Trent is just nasty. You know the type who makes everyone else around him feel small to make himself feel better? Yeah…he’s that guy. Well, Duncan can’t stand any environment that involves Trent, so he takes off on a bike to discover ANYTHING to take his mind off the fact that he doesn’t fit in and would rather be on vacation with his Dad. What he stumbles upon changes his life forever…a water park where he has a whole life hidden from his family. A life where he is employee of the month, has great friends and a boss that talks to him and not at him.
THE WAY WAY BACK is brought to us from “Descendants” Oscar winners Jim Rash and Nat Faxon and is loosely based on events that happened during one of Jim Rash’s summer vacations with his stepfather. The screenplay is very witty with biting humor delivered by the raucous antics of Allison Janney as next door neighbor Betty and her son Peter (River Alexander). However, it is the friendship that develops between Duncan and Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb) that keeps your attention. Amanda Peet (Joan) and Rob Corddry (Kip) remind you of those friends your parents have that are always doing just a little too much and Maya Rudolph (Caitlin) provides comedy laced with a little sensitivity in her scenes with Owen. I loved how Jim Rash and Nat Faxon were the “scene stealers” of their own film. When awards season approaches, I predict that this film will definitely be one of the front-runners! It is the little film that could and WILL in January at the Academy Awards.
THE WAY WAY BACK opens in wide release on July 26th along with FRUITVALE STATION. Both of these films are not to be missed!