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random reviews and other thoughts

“Away We Go” and Why I Love It

It’s Valentine’s Day, and while there are lots of bad romantic movies out there whose soul purpose is to distort women’s views on love and relationships, there are plenty of good ones out there too. Realism isn’t something Hollywood tends to care too much about when it comes to romance. I guess mature couples just don’t sell as well.

Anywhose, if you’re looking for a good movie to watch with your sweetheart, curl up on the couch with Maya Rudolph, Jim Krasinski, and “Away We Go.”

The film, directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” “Jarhead”), follows Rudolph and Krasinski as Burt and Verona, a couple expecting their first child. The couple, who’s been together since college, realize that there life isn’t perfect and that this child is a chance to start over and really start living their life, instead of just surviving their circumstances. They venture out on a cross-county journey to find the perfect place to call home for their family.

What I love most about “Away We Go” is the relationship between Burt and Verona. There is an easiness in their relationship, the way it’s written and acted, you can feel the love between them. It feels real. There’s no third act fight and break-up with a kiss-and-makeup ending. They love each other in the beginning, middle, and end. Problems come up and they fix them, together, like grown-ups.

On their journey, Burt and Verona visit friends and relatives, all with unique parenting styles. Catherine O’Hara and Jeff Daniels, as Burt’s parents, decide to move to Belgium a month before the baby is born.  Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan play a loud, abrasive couple who wonders why they don’t have more friends. Maggie Gyllenhaal is Burt’s new wave zen cousin who refuses to use a stroller because she doesn’t want to “push her children away.” Melanie Lynskey and Chris Messina, who seem by far the most together of the couples, went to college with Burt and Verona and have adopted multiple children to form their family. And Burt’s brother, played by Paul Schneider, is struggling with single fatherhood.

Burt and Verona pick-up different things from all these couples but realize that there is no “right” way, there is no “perfect” family. You can only do the best that you can and be there for the ones you love.

The story, the writing, the acting, the everything is perfect. It’s funny at the right moments, while still being a sweet and tender love story. All backed by simple, indie rock soudtrack supplied by Alexi Murdoch. It’s a romantic comedy, but it’s not a rom-com. There’s no contrived relationship or forced plot pushing. “Away We Go” flows naturally from beginning to end.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming film to watch I can not recommend this film enough.

Related Articles:
Straight From the Hartsock: Lies Hollywood Tells (lbcommuter.com)

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