Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who has made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Duncan (Liam James) is not a popular kid and it doesn't look like the summer is going to offer anything better for him. His mother's boyfriend has invited them to his beach house where Duncan is expected to improve his personality and physical appearance, and meet girls. But his would-be step-sister doesn't want anything to do with him and his shy demeanor makes it difficult for him to meet anybody new. When Duncan wanders into the Water Wizz, the local water park, he meets adult employees who are just having fun. Owen (Sam Rockwell) lets Duncan work with him and their new-found bond will help each other mature and find their place in life. Which for Duncan means standing up to his would-be step-father, having a conversation with the girl next door and being more comfortable with who he is. Written by
A documentary called Wagonmasters (2012), released the year before this movie, discusses the importance of the "wayback seat." Promotional items released for _Wagonmasters_ included bumper stickers and buttons declaring proudly, "I sat in the wayback." See more »
When Duncan meets Owen, Owen is in the middle of a game of Pac-Man on Level 1. He says he's never made it to Level 2. When we see the screen a number of dots and one of the power-pellets are missing. When Duncan loses Owen's last life, still on Level 1, the screen shows an earlier point in the game. See more »
Earnest, Relateable and Endearing - We've All Been Here Before
A sweet, funny, earnest coming-of-age dramedy that plays out like a period piece, even though it's set in the present day. Tempering a plucky spirit and subtle, pointed sense of humor with an introverted lead character and a familiar, bittersweet atmosphere, it's a spiritual successor to the John Hughes golden age of the mid-80s. Liam James is beautifully awkward as the quiet, brooding young teenager at the story's epicenter, aided by a thoroughly deep, entertaining supporting cast. No matter how minor, every character enjoys a purpose and a motivation, enriching the scenery and tickling the viewer's curiosity with a tangle of warm, colorful subplots. Steve Carell will get plenty of attention in his unexpected turn as the boy's self-centered douchebag stand-in father, but Sam Rockwell's deeper-than-he-seems burnout splash park manager is the real show stealer. A strong, heartfelt and meaningful return visit to adolescence for anyone who's ever felt out-of-place in their own skin.
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