Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) from a script by literary hotshot Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and wife Vendela Vida, Away We Go taps into a bittersweet dimension to contemporary life: the ability to forge your own path in an America where family is not necessarily required, and the essential loneliness of that proposition. Away We Go is to be applauded on many fronts: from its exceptionally ordinary-looking leads (Maya Rudolph, John Krasinski) who counteract the usual glamorous take on slackerdom, to the integrity of its introspective script centered on a Juno-esque consideration of family, enduring love, and the responsibilities of parenting. The film’s downfall, however, is the kind of forced cuteness of such indie endeavors: the comical glimpse of a very pregnant Verona moving at ant-speed toward the camera on a moving airport sidewalk or the fact that she has stapled their travel itinerary inside Burt’s jacket. On many, many occasions, Away We Go could have gone for much more subtle, carefully observed comedy. But the writers and director prefer broad, bellowing caricature in order to more clearly enunciate Verona and Bruce’s us-against-them mission.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida
Producer: Sam Mendes
Cast: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Allison Janney, Chris Messina, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Schneider, Carmen Ejogo and Jim Gaffigan