Away We Go | Sam Mendes, 2009
Away We Go is about Burt Farlander (John Krasinski) and Verona De Tessant (Maya Rudolph), couple in their 30’s who are expecting their first child. One day after a fall out with his parents, they decide to travel to see people they know and decide where they want to live and raise their child. While traveling they encounter a variety of parenting styles and see what it is to be a parent.
This movie had a lot of potential. I have the feeling that had this movie had a better script and had been taken in a different style, it would have been much better. As it is, it feels like a forced Juno, Wes Anderson, Little Miss Sunshine imitation. It is quirky for the sake of being quirky, the dialogue needed some polishing, and it seems pointless. While the biggest culprit of the failure of this movie is the script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, I can’t help but put a little bit of the blame on Sam Mendes. He had the oportunity to make the movie different, however he just ends up sticking to it and that is not what was needed. While the movie is definitely beautiful to look at, that does not justify Mendes’ inability to make the movie better than the script.
With that said, not everything is bad. The performances are universally good, despite that some characters are despicable. The stand out here is Maya Rudolph whose performance here is all kinds of amazing. She is funny, and definitely acts like a scared, pregnant woman does. It is just one of the best performances of the year.
Away We Go could have been great, however, a lazy script and uninspired direction does not allow it to reach it’s full potential. It does have a few bright spots that actually make it worthy of one viewing.