Away We Go

After reading Maya Rudolph’s Wikipedia page, it just became abundantly clear to me how autobiographical this movie is for her. I don’t know if Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida got the ideas from her, or from their own brilliant brains, or a mixture of both, but this script and these players made something poignant and magical.

It’s got the look, feel and taste of Garden State: the killer soundtrack, the storyline centered around at least one confused person, the occasional “meaningful” head-on shot of the star(s) and the potential for indie kids everywhere to add it to their “Favorite Movies” on Facebook. But this one was written by literary giants. No offense, Zach Braff, but you’re not that profound yet. You just chose wisely with The Shins and Natalie Portman.

I love John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph in this, thought I have to say that they don’t have a ton of chemistry. Enough to be a convincing couple, sure, but not enough to persuade us that their characters’ unique true love is really true. But the character of their characters isn’t that important, at least not at the beginning of the film. It’s who they meet (Allison Janney and Maggie Gyllenhaal are particularly hysterical) and what they learn along the way that matters, and it’s really not as cheesy as I made it out to be. The film deals with selfishness, abandonment, ignorance and irresponsibility on the part of parents, and Burt (Krasinski) and Verona (Rudolph) quickly see these things in motion and resolve to remove them from whatever innate parenting skills they have. And even though they play 34-year-olds, they translate well to college kids and retirees, because they represent a feeling we’ve all had: being lost. It’s beautiful to watch them find their way, and it’s even more wonderful to experience a bit of your own self-discovery while watching the film. My revelation: I decided that I’m going to sing rock ‘n’ roll songs to my kids instead of lullabies. Verona did it, and her renditions sure beat the hell out of the stereotypical crap.

I was afraid that Krasinski would be typecast as Jim for the rest of his life, but I’m happy to say that Jim might actually hate Burt. They have similar senses of humor, but Burt is neurotic and a little clingy and has a phone voice and facial hair. In fact, the Jim smile escaped only once throughout the entire movie, and that might be because Krasinski actually does the smirk in real life. Who kne


One comment

  1. rubber soul · July 24, 2009

    I saw this the other night and loved it. Its sweet and really hysterical, and had so many great actors in it without being over-the-top. Plus I love me some Krasinski, mmm hm.

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