Friday, 18 September 2009

Film review: Away We Go (**)

A marked change of pace for director Sam Mendes after the rigid formality of American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road, this insufferably quirky indie road movie may represent both a loosening up in style and a move away from the "weightiness" of his first four movies, but, for me, brings to an end his near-perfect run. Still, the fault lies less with Mendes than with the humdrum script by Dave Eggars and his wife Vendela Vida which follows salesman Burt (John Krasinski) and his pregnant partner Verona (Maya Rudolph) as they pin across America looking for the perfect spot to settle down and raise their soon-to-be-born child, meeting with relatives and friends along the way, every one of whom turns out to be either kooky, zany, crazy, or just plain odd, a statistic that soon grates. And so by the time Maggie Gyllenhaal's hippie-mom shows up on screen, ranting about her three "S"s (don't ask), you want to scream. Loudly. Which is a shame because Krasinki and Rudolph are fun to spend time with, and the film works best during the quieter, tender moments when it's just them.


Gerard said...

I really, really went for this. Found it wholly charming, genuinely affecting and very funny. A little slight by Mendes standards, sure, but an interesting and welcome addition to his body of work by my count. Looking forward to its proper release here so I can catch it again.

Mark Salisbury said...

When I saw it, lots of the people around me clearly found it funny and were having a good time. Me, I just found it irritating. Maybe I wasn't in the mood that day.