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FILM REVIEW: THE WAY WAY BACK (12A)

We’re living in a world where teens are communicating with friends on Twitter and Facebook, more than talking face-to-face. Many believe that social networking is ruining basic communication skills for millions.

So with The Way, Way Back focusing on a socially awkward teen, I think people will relate to it now more than ever.

It’s been a year and a half since Jim Rash and Nat Faxon won an Oscar for the script, The Descendants. Their debut as directors sees 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) reluctantly spending his summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and her arrogant boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell). Frustrated by Trent’s friends, neighbour, and of course the man himself – Duncan finds refuge at Water Wizz waterpark.

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The shy teen befriends Owen (Sam Rockwell), the witty and fast-talking waterpark manager. Can their friendship help Duncan become the confident boy he wants to be?

I highly recommend you check out this poignant coming-of-age comedy to find out.

It’s refreshing to see Steve Carell playing an egotistical character. The opening scene sees him asking Duncan, “On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself?” Despite the boy mumbling that he is maybe a six, Trent feels the need to say, “I think you’re a three.” Straight away we feel the tension between these two characters and understand one of the reasons that Duncan is so miserable. After just one minute I was rooting for the main character – a connection I haven’t had with many other movies throughout 2013.

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If you’re after a laugh-out-loud comedy, than The Way, Way Back is perhaps not for you. Much like films such as Adventureland and Little Miss Sunshine, the jokes are subtle and spread out throughout the 1hr 43 mins. But that’s OK, when we’re not laughing; we’re rooting for Duncan and the journey he’s on.

I worry that amongst the summer blockbusters and high-profile comedies, The Way, Way Back may get overshadowed. You’ll just have to take my advice and catch it now at Showcase Peterborough. For show times visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk and join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas

Mikey Clarke

Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney & Liam James

Writer/Director: Nat Faxon & Jim Rash.

Running Time: 1hr 43mins

See it  if you liked: The Perks of Being a Wallflower & 500 Days of Summer

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