Away We Go

Away We Go

In Theatres: 
Jun 05, 2009
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 40 Minutes

The film is the first studio production to adopt green filmmaking initiatives aimed to reduce CO2 emission

Burt and Verona have lived together for years, and at the beginning of the film learn they are going to have a baby.  They expect Burt’s parents (Verona’s died when she was 22) to be their support system during this life change, but in the one truly jarring scene in the movie (which wastes the wonderful Catherine O’Hara and Jeff Daniels, by the way), they learn that Burt’s parents are in fact moving to Antwerp.  Burt and Verona then embark on a journey to find where, and next to whom, they want to set down their roots.

The journey, of course, is where all the fun, laughs, and tears, are.  Burt and Verona learn lessons in how not to parent along the way, and in their fear that they are fuck-ups (wonderfully-acted scene by Maya Rudolph), they soon see that those they look to for support are often even worse fuck-ups and that that’s okay.  The supporting cast is wonderful, even when characters might be written a bit broadly.  Allison Janney shines, as usual, as Verona’s former boss, Maggie Gyllenhal rises above the caricature Zen hippie character written for her, but it was Carmen Ejogo and Melanie Lynskey who stood out most for me.  John Krasinski is as charming as ever here, cheerful even when chaos reigns, and Maya Rudolph is simply exquisite as Verona.  She relishes in Verona’s contradictions and layers and her face perfectly captures each emotion: a truly breakout performance.

Away We Go will not change lives or start important national discussions, but I left the theater smiling and bits of the movie pop into my head now and then, making me smile once again. Not many movies do that, and I hope people will make a point of seeing Away We Go because we could all use a reminder that we all, in our own way, are fuck-ups, but that we’re mostly doing okay on this meandering journey of life.

Review by Michelle St. James