A Way of Coming of Age
Duncan (Liam James) is a quiet 14 year old who doesn't say much and doesn't really have much confidence when it comes to socialising with kids his age. So it is a complete nightmare when his mum Pam (Toni Collette) and her outgoing boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) decide to spend the summer at Trent's summer house as he will be surrounded not only by new people but also Trent's confident friends who all appear to take pleasure in humiliating their children. But there is one adult who Duncan gets on with, Owen (Sam Rockwell), the Pacman playing manager of the Water Wizz water park who doesn't seem to take anything seriously.
Have you ever wondered why there are not only so many coming of age movies but they all seem to be highly rated? My theory is because everyone has a memory of their childhood and some even have that one summer they had which made them change the way they think and grow up. And of course for those who had that experience, that summer in what ever the year it was, they can associate with those in a movie which features the same sort of thing going on. But of course not everyone had that pivotal summer and as such watch one of these highly rated coming of age movies and think what's all the fuss about.
That brings me to "The Way Way Back" another coming of age movie where we have a loner kid having to deal with a variety of issues from prospective step fathers who are bullying in their attitude to kids his age who don't want to hand with him. I could go on but to be honest whilst there are some recognizable character types in this movie there is little about this movie which entertained me. We have forced characters, generic coming of age moments, forced comedy and did I mention the forced characters. But you see I am not one of those guys who had that pivotal summer where life changed or summer spent down at the pool and so I couldn't connect to the movie, the story or the characters like others do.
What this all boils down to is that like many coming of age movies "The Way Way Back" probably works for those who can connect to the characters and the experiences shown in the movie. But for those who can't connect this is one of those movies which is hard work to get in to and feels forced although in fairness it does have some funny scenes.