Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Half-Assed Reviews: Away We Go

It's time for another Half-Assed Movie Review!

As you all know, I like to see and consequently talk about movies that everyone else has already seen and moved on from. And since that is often the case, I can't be bothered with doing much more than drinking a big ol' glass of wine and blurping out some film school blurp like "mise-en-scene" and "character-driven archs". Blurp.

I did not see Away We Go in the movie theater for the following reasons:

1. Movies cost a lot of money to see in theaters that don't serve beer. And that's just stupid.

2. If I wait for the movies to go to the second-run theater, I end up spending that money on beer. This is the wiser course of action. I can also occasionally yell things at the screen without getting booed. But we were out of the country when it was in the second-run.

3. I don't trust John Krasinski. He has a shifty nose and I wasn't convinced he could ever be anything other than Jim from The Office...even with Sam Mendes directing the nose to be something other than shifty.

4. It got a negatory review on NPR. Apparently I'm an elitist. Who knew.

Be that as it may - at the beach last stormy stormy weekend, I caught up on watching shit. And this sentence pretty much sums up how I felt about it, though it may make sense to absolutely no one:
Away We Go is my new Reality Bites.

Some backstory: Reality Bites came out in the mid-90s and followed the lives of 4 20-somethings with Liberal Arts degrees with no real skills and no idea what to do with their lives and no real ambition. I watched it a lot between the ages of 19-25 convinced I was the missing 5th cast member.

With Away We Go, I felt invaded - as though our apartment had been bugged for the last year. There were several bits of dialogue where I was all "Hey! That's none of your business!" The story follows a couple in their early 30s who discover they're unintentionally pregnant (Maya Rudolph has what may be the perfect reaction to the news) and realize they have no real direction or home. So off they go to figure out what to do about the latter.

To make this something other than a drama, we're introduced to a veritable line up of wackadoos along the way played by some of my favorites (Catherine O'Hara, Allison Janney, etc.). I think they're supposed to be the sugar rim...but somehow it didn't work. Their inclusion was an aspiration to Wes Anderson levels of character kitsch, but they came off as caricatures.

I'm hard on movies, it's true. Regardless of it's standing within the world at large, if it doesn't affect me on a relatable level, it gets an official rating of "eh". This movie hit me. And I wasn't even drinking. I'm approaching 30, everyone around me is having kids and seems to know what they want, etc. I'm not there. I don't know when I'll be there. I don't know what I'll do when I am there. And there's still that aimless lack of ambition hanging on from the early 20s. Away We Go does a pretty damn good job of reflecting that kind of internalization in a thoughtful, if occasionally cheesy, way.

And they made John/Jim grow a shifty beard to detract from his shifty nose. Turns out facial hair is occasionally useful.

8 keep(s) me blogging:

The Future said...

So are you saying if I watch "Away We Go" I'll better understand the inner workings de vous? Or will all the indecision simply drive me up the wall?

Gorilla Bananas said...

That's the first movie review I've read in which the reviewer reviews herself rather than the movie. I think you should make a movie of your own life with a camcorder.

SCENE 1: Kara says "life's a bitch" at breakfast.

SCENE 2: Kara says "get out of my face" at work.

SCENE 3: Kara says "ass" at dinner.

SCENE 4: Kara gets pissed and says nothing intelligible.

rachelslessonslearned said...

Ive never even heard of this movie until now.

with Away We Go, I felt invaded - as though our apartment had been bugged for the last year. There were several bits of dialogue where I was all "Hey! That's none of your business!" The story follows a couple in their early 30s who discover they're unintentionally pregnant

OMG DOES THIS MEAN YOU'RE PREGGO?!

kara said...

goranas - the question is, would you see it at the expensive night showing on opening weekend?!

rachel - see everyone always reads that into what i say. no, i explain here:
I'm approaching 30, everyone around me is having kids and seems to know what they want, etc. I'm not there. I don't know when I'll be there. I don't know what I'll do when I am there.
They're there (and a bit older than me) and they still don't know what to do. I can relate to that.

kara said...

oh and mom - i think you'd like it.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Like most recently released films, I have never heard of it. Hell, I am still Netflixing films I watched back in the 70's to determine if they withstand the test of time. (most do not).

Unfortunately, the only media I can relate to at my current place and age is "Curb Your Enthusiasm". I am sure Larry David is actually playing me as a balding Jewish man.

Mary Witzl said...

I've never heard this movie either, and I can't say it's compelling (we've already taken the plunge, it's almost 2 decades too late to do anything about it). But I knew I was onto something when you wrote that post featuring all of those pickle jars.

Nobody's ever REALLY ready. We just lie and say we are.

Mary Witzl said...

Umm...that should have read 'heard OF this movie'. It's all my students' fault. I've been grading 85 test sheets full of sheer crap and my mind is even more addled than usual.