An Inspiring “Way Way Back”
By Skip Sheffield
If you grew in a family that owned a station wagon, you know the term “The Way Way Back.” It’s that third and final seat, often facing backwards, in the
Siberia region at the rear.
“The Way Way Back” is also a state of mind for Duncan, the unhappy 14-year-old hero of the new movie comedy by the same name.
Faxon and Rash have given themselves funny cameo roles as workers at a run-down water sports park called Water Wizz. There really is a
Water Wizz Park on the coast in .
It’s a kind of low-tech anti-Disney World, but it is a special place for Duncan,
who is taken under the wing by Owen (Sam Rockwell), the jokey, self-confident manager
of the park. Marshfield, Massachusetts
“On a scale of one to ten,” how would you rate yourself?” he demands of
“I don’t know,”
stammers. “Maybe a six.”
“I think you’re a three,” answers
Trent. With great economy, this tells you all
you need to know about obnoxious Trent.
is bummed out. One day over Pac-Man Duncan meets Owen (Rockwell), who is the
very embodiment of cool. Owen is witty, funny, good-looking and all the girls
love him- especially his co-worker Caitlin (Maya Rudolph).
as a kindred spirit and he takes him on as a personal cause. As Duncan gains in
confidence the scales are lifted from his eyes so to speak, and he sees the
uncomfortable truth about his mother’s needy relationship.
“The Way Way Back” is funny when it needs to be and quite moving where it counts. The early teen years are tough for even the most well-adjusted person. Throw in a few handicaps and a good kid can descend into Hell. If he can beat the odds, it can be inspirational in the best sense of the word.