Sunday, January 26, 2014

Away We Go (2009) [R] ****

Verona (Maya Rudolph) and Burt (John Krasinski) are a thirty-something, unmarried couple living a rural lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest. They moved there to be near Burt's parents, because they are expecting their first child, and because Verona's parents are deceased. But when Burt's parents announce they are moving to Europe for two years, it dawns on Verona and Burt that they have no family ties to the Northwest. And so they embark on a road trip to discover where they feel most at home, where they want to raise their future child.

First they fly to Phoenix to visit Verona's old boss, then to Tucson to reconnect with Verona's younger sister, and then to Madison, Wisconsin, to Montreal, and finally to Miami, Florida, where Burt's brother lives. At each stop Burt and Verona discover that these people from their past, people with whom they thought they had a strong connection, are now very different people, with unexpected behavioral traits, in dysfunctional relationships, with difficult problems to solve, unusual philosophies of life, and unique parenting styles. 

Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), this independently-produced, quirky, romantic comedy-drama features a finely-crafted screenplay, inspired casting, sensitive direction and uniformly outstanding performances, especially from John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph who have wonderful chemistry, and who are together in virtually every scene of the film. Anyone, whether in their twenties, thirties or forties, who has ever felt alienated and rootless, and has gone on a road trip, or a spiritual quest, in search of the place where they belong, will be able to identify with Verona and Burt. 

Labels: comedy, drama, romance    
Internet Movie Database   
Metacritic 58/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=65, viewers=72)    
Blu-ray

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