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:: Away We Go

Don’t let the opening scene of this film fool you. When Burt comments his partner “tastes” different while going down on her, it is not some strange sex film or pointless crude fluff, but rather a quirky yet cute beginning to a quirky and cute story.

Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski play Burt and Verona, a couple in their 30s who are expecting their first child. Unprepared to let go of the freedoms of youth and living in a rundown mobile home, they hope to rely on Burt’s parents (Catherine O’Hara and a surprising Jeff Daniels) for support after the birth. When they discover the selfish and undependable grandparents-to-be plan to move to Antwerp only one month before the baby is due, the couple find themselves alone and uncertain what to do.

Deciding to overhaul the direction of their life together, Burt and Verona begin their search for a new place to start again. From Florida to Montreal, they take a road trip across America in search of their new home, and in doing so experience a lesson in parenting and adulthood as they move between old friends, family and cities.

Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), this off-beat comedy is touching. Its light-hearted and sweet nature is something we haven’t seen from Mendes before. The film’s simplicity, while it could put some people off, highlights the love shared between the two, and you could almost call it a “buddy-road trip” movie.

Allison Janney is outrageous and perfect as a cruel and insensitive loudmouth mother, while Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the role of neo-hippy parent with enthusiasm.

The music is beautiful, and Alexi Murdoch compiled a soundtrack that is able to carry the film, not just accompany it. So too does the picturesque scenery of North America, helping the fact that not much actually happens by way of action or plot. It is a purely character-driven story.

It is not a challenging or ground breaking film, but it draws you in nonetheless as Burt and Verona find who they want to be, and perhaps more importantly, who they do not. A few laughs and even a small tear, Away We Go successfully makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.