A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time.
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Burt Farlander and Verona De Tessant are a couple steeped in eccentricity and irregularity but are very much in love. So when they find out that Verona is pregnant they seem to be taking it in their stride. Verona is enjoying pregnancy, Burt is already practicing skill that he believes a good father should have, and they living in the same state as Burt's parents, Jerry and Gloria, so that their prospective daughter can have grandparents. However, things are shaken up when Burt and Verona go to dinner at Jerry and Gloria's house, as Burt's parents reveal a surprising piece of news. They have decided to move to Antwerp in Belguim a month before the baby is due, scuppering Burt and Verona's plans of having their children's grandparents around. Because Verona lost her parents when she was relatively young, she finds this news very hard to take, but the resilient couple quickly find a way to turn it in to a positive. It becomes obvious that this is what the pair needed, as they decide to ... Written by
The style of Away We Go very much reminded me of a late 1960s/early 1970s film. I kept thinking of Harold and Maude or The Graduate, where the lead characters learn about themselves as their relationships grow and change. There were some characters that were so despicable that they'll make you laugh and cringe at the same time. The disappointments were done in a comedic way so the movie never drags. There were introspective scenes along the journey where I thought a Cat Stevens song would start playing.
The main couple travel to various cities to find the perfect place to raise their daughter and they meet an insane cast of characters along the way. These people remind me of people I've actually met in real life. A lot are parents with the best of intentions but what they are doing is just plain wrong.
Maya Rudolph should be in more serious roles. She's an amazing actress. She gives a very genuine performance, no overacting at all. As for John Krasinski, he was very good too as the loving, supportive boyfriend. There's a scene where he kept trying to say the right thing, but it keeps coming out all wrong. I think any couple will be able to relate to it when they see the film.
What makes this movie charming and deeper than a lot of romantic comedies is that you already have an established couple that's very much in love. This is usually where a romantic comedies ends, but Away We Go probes the deeper question of what happens after you meet the person of your dreams. Away We Go completely avoids the cliché of boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again.
I thought the music was okay, not the best, but the two men I was with very much enjoyed it.
I don't want to give away too much, but if you like a quieter film with a tone like the other movies I mentioned, you will enjoy this. If you're a looking for just a mindless roadtrip, this is not the film for you.
***I just read an article that the screenwriters were influenced by early 1970s movies, especially Hal Ashby who directed such classics as Being There and Harold and Maude. That explains why I kept thinking of Cat Stevens. If you go to the FilmInFocus website there's a 6 page interview with the screenwriters.***
Also, there's a comment that the film glorifies animal cruelty. The dog races were chosen because it's the saddest place the screenwriters could imagine to do the scene in Arizona. The context in the movie was to show the misery of a place like that, not glorify it at all.
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