Photo: Focus Features
I needed some quality “me” time last night, so after my sweat session at the gym, I decided to take a walk up the street and see what was playing at the movie theatre. Sam Mendes’ newest film, Away We Go. Perfect! It’s an absolutely lovely little film that manages to strike an artful balance between satirical comedy and heart-wrenching drama. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”) and John Krasinski (“The Office”) are thirty-somethings preparing to have their first child. As they travel around North America in search of the perfect neighborhood, encounters with old friends and now neurotic parents, become hilariously terrifying paradigms for their baby’s potential future. Soon the couple must define their responsibilities, or be swallowed whole by them. These eccentric friends (Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Josh Hamiltion, Melanie Lynskey, Chris Messina) and quirky relatives (Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, Carmen Ejogo, Paul Schnieder) offer valuable lessons in family dysfunction and help the couple discover “home” on their own terms.
On a side note, the soundtrack is also seriously brilliant. I bought it on iTunes last night and haven’t stopped listening to it on repeat.
Away We Go is a film about love: feeling it, making it and being in it with somebody else, all the way up to your necks. It’s a soaring meditation on the endless transformations of family that is at once brutally honest, desperately funny, warmly absorbing and vibrantly illuminated.