Starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. Rated 14A. Opens Friday, June 12, at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas and the Cinemark Tinseltown
Dancing gingerly into territory most romantic comedies avoid, Away We Go is about people who are already hitched, more or less, and are tackling other concerns while attempting to hang on to what pulled them together in the first place.
Watch the trailer for Away We Go.
Sounds like a laugh riot, right? As written by married novelists Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, and directed by Sam “Mr. Comedy” Mendes (Revolutionary Road), this isn’t exactly a summer vehicle for Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey. Instead, we get The Office’s John Krasinski and Saturday Night Live’s Maya Rudolph as bearded insurance salesman Burt and pregnant Verona.
The couple comes unglued when they discover that his bohemian parents (Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara) are moving to Belgium just before the baby will be born. With portable jobs and no reason to stay in Colorado, Burt and Verona decide to go shopping for a better life. First it’s off to Arizona, where visits with a crass former friend (Allison Janney) and Verona’s moodily composed sister (Carmen Ejogo) prove unsettling in different ways. In Wisconsin, Burt’s academic mentor and her hippie-dip boyfriend (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Josh Hamilton) offer a path best not taken. And so on.
In the tale’s episodic structure, no outsider shows up more than once, so we really do get a sense of a couple set adrift. Mostly, this leans toward the socially satirical side of things, but some of the caricatures are so broad they approach cruelty or, worse, laziness on the part of the filmmakers. The most satisfying part is set in Montreal, although how our low-key heroes would get visas (or learn to speak French) is never addressed. In the end, such questions are left to the viewer to ponder. Away We Go is a lot like life: intriguingly funny, painfully tinged with mortality, or really boring, depending on your attitude. And maybe where you live.