Forming a new family feeling when your father or mother has found a new love is challenging. That new person has to find his/her place in the house without forcing themselves into a position where they take the place of someone who is not there anymore. In the Way Way Back we follow a family who is going to a beach house to try and become closer. Duncan (Liam James) is a fourteen year old boy who is the silent type who likes to stay at the house and does not spend a lot of time with other kids. His mother has a new boyfriend (Steve Carrell) who on the way to the beach house makes clear to him what he thinks of him and it isn’t positive. It’s one of those summers which could change their relationship forever.
Although this movie tells a coming of age story which you have probably seen many times before, it does so in an extremely entertaining way. The movie does have a lot of drama as Duncan is struggling with various issues, but a thick sauce of humour on top of it all makes this a great package. Liam James portrays his character in an impressive way, he convinces as a boy who slowly finds his footing and moves out of his protective shell. From all the characters, it is Sam Rockwell who really stood out to me. His character is the rebel type and he has some of the funniest jokes of the movie. He really is a joy to watch. Steve Carrell has a very serious role here and manages to shake any comedic preconceptions you have about him. In his role as stepfather he comes across as a guy who is hard to like. The Way Way Back is a great “slice of life” type of movie, with the right mix between drama and fun. It ends up being a feel good movie that is worth a watch.