Burt and Verona (John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph) are a 30-something couple who have been all but stumbling through life until a welcome albeit unplanned pregnancy falls into their laps. Immediately they begin to think about their place in life and what the future might hold. Stuck in a run down shack of an abode because it happens to be close to Johns parents, the two are unhappy with their surroundings. When John's parents (Jeff Daniels, Catherine O’Hara) announce that they are moving thousands of miles away one month before the birth of their grandchild, motivation is provided for the couple to head out on a cross country excursion in an attempt to discover the "perfect" place to raise their family. And Away We Go...
A cuter couple on or off screen you may never find (sans Glen and Marketa in Once). The dynamic displayed by these two actors is a fine thing to watch. They have a affable back and forth banter that these two display and the ease in which they pull it off makes it feel so honest that you can’t help but think how much better the world would be if more couples like this really existed. Banter aside, however, when it’s called for, the tender moments shared between Burt and Verona are so soft and filled with such sincere love that it will play you’re heart strings like a marionette. John Krasinski (who displays a look that I’m personally jealous of) and Maya Rudolph shine here and the casting was brilliant. I didn’t know much about Maya Rudolph aside from her comedic work on Saturday Night Live, but she transitions into this role beautifully and I look forward to seeing more of her.
As road comedy/dramas go, this one is unique. It’s not exactly filled with ridiculous situations and run ins with police at every turn, but rather a series of veritable meet and greets as the couple search for a spot to settle down. Allison Janney as Veronas best friend is quite hilarious as the loud mouth with absolutely no sensor and Jim Gaffigan doesn’t suck as her aloof husband with a penchant for conspiracy theories. Along the way we also run into Burt's "cousin", LN (you might be surprised to find out what that stands for), played by the always gorgeous Maggie Gyllenhall. Her scenes provide some of the funniest moments of this movie and the one in particular around the kitchen table will have you in stitches for sure.
This is definitely something you should check out. It is a bit of a departure from director Sam Mendes’ norm (Jarhead, American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), but it works and it works well. Gifted with a very talented cast, Mendes does well to materialize the script into a very enjoyable ride. Not exactly a laugh a minute, but definitely not a bore, I urge you to check out Away We Go.
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