Sunday, June 28, 2009

Away We Go

Of course I really wanted to see Transformers, but Tamar had different ideas. She didn't agree with me that seeing Transformers during her birthday week would be kick ass awesomeness wrapped in a little bow. She very strangely wanted to see some obscure indie flick directed by Sam Mendes, written by Dave Eggers and starring that lady from SNL whose Mother sang Loving You. To be honest I had wanted to see this one too, it's a funny trailer and I really enjoyed the odd casting choices here. In the end it was tough to turn down the Autobot/Decepticon destructo-fest, but a man can't be concerned with having to sleep with one eye open every night, I think I did the smart thing. It was an enjoyably quirky movie. It hinged totally on the likability of the two leads John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. And I thought they had a great chemistry, even if it went on a bit too long. I thought they made the ride very enjoyable.A young couple, Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph), decide to take a trek across the country in order to find the perfect place to raise their un-born child. They travel to Phoenix to see Verona's sister (Carmen Ejogo) and an old work friend, Lily (Allison Janney) and her family. It's always great to see Janney in anything even if she's chewing scenery. She's plays the kind of lady that cannot shut up no matter the circumstances. It's kind of like she's perpetually drunk all the time, just says whatever comes into her brain. Irritating, yes, but also very funny. Next stop was Burt's family friend LN (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and her strange little hippie family. Where Lily was all about insulting her children in public. LN was more into smothering her kid to death with new age hippie love. Gyllenhaal was funny and way over the top. They head up to Canada to see some college friends and their family life, (They were the most normal family unit) and end up taking a special trip to see Burt's brother (Paul Schneider) in Miami. One of my gripes with the flick is that we mostly see the extremes of parenting on display. They make their point but sometimes they just go on a bit too long. But here's the question, is the film elitist as reviewer Tom McCarthy suggests? Personally I think he's just looking to beat up on the film. Some of the characters take their parenting ideas to, what may seem to be, an extreme level. But I didn't get the sense that they were trying to say that Verona and Burt were somehow better or above that kind of craziness. I think any sane person watching would probably relate more to the travelling couple than say LN and her dislike of the stroller because it pushes her babies away from her. (Total nutbar by the way.) It's a comedy Tom, a slower, less slapstick comedy, but a comedy just the same. So relax, man.Overall Tamar and I really related to the young couple. They had a similar dynamic to us and that really resonated. It's a solid little film with some great performances as I mentioned above and also from Jeff Daniels, Catherine O'Hara and Jim Gaffigan. It was slow at times and some of the scenes, as they traveled from place to place, went on a bit longer than necessary. But it was a well written enjoyable ride and if you've had your fill of talking robots that smash then check out this little gem.

Grade 4 Buckets

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