Way, Way Back, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudoph, Liam James. Comedy/drama. Written and Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The Way, Way Back is the coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Duncanís (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget. AnnaSophia Robb plays the pretty girl next door.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Sometimes funny, occasionally poignant, itís a teen angst movie with some merit. The lead teen is a passive, thoughtful 14-year-old for whom we feel compassion, and Sam Rockwell is a man/boy with empathy and insight. The cast is solid and, despite several uses of the s-word, the script doesnít assault our senses with crudity. Pretty seaside settings and even prettier girls manage to set the right mood. All in all, it was a pleasant enough evening at the cinema.

DVD Alternative: Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. James Stewart takes the family to the beach for the summer. Made in 1963, todayís teens may have difficulty relating to their counterparts, but Stewart is hysterical.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual comments from the adults who are mostly a mess in this film.
Obscene Language: Around 14 obscenities, mostly the s-word and a few minor expletives.
Profanity: I caught no misuse of Godís name.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: Two adults are committing adultery and are found out, but other than some kissing, we see no sexual activity.
Nudity: No nudity, but it does take place at a seaside resort, so most scenes feature young women and girls in brief swimwear.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Drinking and pot use Ė this by the adults who behave rather poorly, setting a bad example for the kids; several adults drink to excess, with little downside shown for their immoderate behavior.
Other: None
Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)