A new review from The Movie Snob.
The Way Way Back (B+). Don’t get confused, now. This is not The Way, which is about pilgrims on the El Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, or The Way Back, which is about escapees from a Soviet concentration camp. This is a new coming-of-age tale from the writers who brought you The Descendants (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash). But I have to say I liked this movie quite a bit better than that one. It’s about a miserable 14-year-old boy named Duncan, whose divorced mother (Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine) has dragged him to a beach house where they are going to spend the summer with her jerk boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell, Hope Springs) and his unpleasant daughter Stephanie. Even a hint of interest from Susanna, the cute girl next door (AnnaSophia Robb, Soul Surfer), can’t seem to cheer him up. But then Duncan finds a surrogate family while working at the local water park, led by the goofball manager Owen (Sam Rockwell, Moon), and things seem to be looking up. It’s kind of similar to the 2009 flick Adventureland, but I think I liked this one even a little better.