Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Away We Go

Directed by Sam Mendes.
2009. Rated R, 98 minutes.
John Krasinski
Maya Rudolph
Carmen Ejogo
Jeff Daniels
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Catherine O'Hara
Allison Janney
Jim Gaffigan

Plot: Verona (Rudolph),who is six months pregnant, and her boyfriend Burt (Krasinski) travel to various locations in North America they have ties to in search of the perfect place to start their family.

The Good: In Verona and Burt, we have a couple that feels, more or less, real. They aren't glamourous or overly hip, they're just a couple regular thirtysomethings trying to make their way in the world. To that end, director Sam Mendes coaxes some very natural performances from his two stars. On the other hand, he also gets some great, and perfectly over the top work from his supporting cast. In particular, Maggie Gyllenhaal shines as the eccentric, and eccentrically named, LN. What happens is the bit players, and Burt, give us most of our laughs while Verona plays our "straight man" and the movie effectively revolves around her. This also helps reveal bits and pieces of our heroes.

The Bad: Some opportunities for comedy are lost because the movie rarely deals with Verona's pregnancy. Their is the running gag about keeping the baby's heart rate up, but nothing ever comes of it. Also, some of the supporting characters beg for bigger roles but are all quickly ushered off-screen as our heroes travel from one city to the next.

The Ugly: LN, breast-feeding, strollers and the "family bed." Wow.

Recommendation: This is a different sort of rom-com. Instead of the usual boy-meets-girl, this picks up where others leave off. It's smart, cute and funny. That said, fellas be warned: it's a full-blown chick-flick. It's a solid one, but a chick-flick, nonetheless.

The Opposite View: Richard Corliss, Time

What the Internet Says: 7.4/10 on (2/8/10), 66% on, 58/100 on

MY SCORE: 7/10

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