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Away (you should) Go!

6 July 2009

John Krazinski and Maya Rudolf in Away We Go

John Krazinski and Maya Rudolf in "Away We Go"

This blog doesn’t typically spout on about the latest films, because obviously, it’s about much more “high-minded” a subject than simple Hollywood productions.  But this I had to mention here.  In our world of jaded people looking at the world through only irony-tinted sunglasses, this is one I had to mention for it’s honest, open, lovely–indeed, NICE–portrayal.

So I’ve been keeping an eye on the reviews of a little indie film called Away We Go for a while and, while I REALLY wanted to see it, too many of the reviews were mixed and I didn’t think I could get Aaron to go unless someone he knew told him something good about it. Today… I got my wish when Emma sent me a message on FB telling me exactly what I wanted to hear and exactly what Aaron needed: this was a good movie–in fact, it’s an “Emma-and-Jess-trip-to-the-movies type of film” (when Emma and I went to college together, we went to see films ALL THE TIME that we loved–it was our thing and what bonded us as friends). I did a quick search of the web and found that it was, indeed, playing in our area at 7:05 tonight. It only had two showings per day and was only probably going to be around until Thursday, so I called up Aaron and begged him to take me after he got home from work. He agreed… and away we went.

I don’t have the presence of mind tonight to write a glowing review that will really grab you, so I’ll leave you with the beginning of Roger Ebert’s which starts to sum up my feelings about the movie:

Burt and Verona are two characters rarely seen in the movies: thirtysomething, educated, healthy, self-employed, gentle, thoughtful, whimsical, not neurotic and really truly in love. Their great concern is finding the best place and way to raise their child, who is a bun still in the oven. For every character like this I’ve seen in the last 12 months, I’ve seen 20, maybe 30, mass murderers.

Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go” is a film for nice people to see. Nice people also go to “Terminator Salvation,” but it doesn’t make them any nicer. “Away We Go” opened last week in New York and Los Angeles, and now rolls out after lukewarm reviews accusing Verona and Burt of being smug, superior and condescending. These are not sins if you have something to be smug about and much reason to condescend.

Are the supporting characters caricatures or simply a cross-section of the kinds of grotesques we usually meet in movies? I use the term grotesque as Sherwood Anderson does in Winesburg, Ohio: a person who has one characteristic exaggerated beyond all scale with the others. Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) live not far from his parents, in an underheated, shabby home with a cardboard-covered window.

“We don’t live like grown-ups,” Verona observes. It’s not that they can’t afford a better home, as much that they are stalled in an impoverished student lifestyle. Now that they’re about to become parents, they can’t keep adult life on hold. “Away We Go” is about an unplanned odyssey they take around North America to visit friends and family, and essentially do some comparison shopping among lifestyles.[…]

You can read the rest here if you are so inclined. Or better even, after you see it (which you MUST), read this one. It’s got a few spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet. If you liked the spirit and style in Juno and you appreciate an understated indie comedy (though you will be positively cracking up at quite a few scenes–Aaron even had to contain his boisterous laughter in the quiet theater), you will be hard pressed NOT to love this film. I did. Aaron did. Emma did. Ebert did. Not a bad round-up if you ask me.

I like how Ebert says it’s the “type of film nice people go to see.” I chuckled as I read that because it’s exactly what I was feeling about it.  No, it’s not that nice people don’t see Terminator Salvation and the like (which these two nice people DID see), but that this is more the one likely to make already nice people even nicer.  I concur!

I simply cannot speak highly enough of this one. Now. Away! You go! See Away We Go.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    7 July 2009 5:48 am

    Agreed, 100%! 🙂

  2. 7 July 2009 8:08 am

    Agreed…good post (-=

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