Away We Go Sam Mendes

Away We Go Sam Mendes
In every romantic comedy the main couple must find each other, lose each other and then attempt reconciliation. So what if there was a romantic comedy where we never once question the couple's commitment to each other? Wouldn't that be dreadfully dull? Not in Away We Go, where real-life married couple Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida script two exceedingly charming characters, brought to life by John Krasinksi (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live). The film opens with the couple discovering they're pregnant; the rest of the film is a road movie of reaction shots, as the couple decide where to live and encounter everything they don't want to be as parents. The episodic structure means the film relies entirely on character, which plays to the strengths of this writing/directing/acting team. Much of the joy of this film is in watching the comfort and intimacy Krasinski and Rudolph have with each other in scenarios that alternate between absurd, anxious, hilarious and troubling. The supporting cast is astounding, with tour-de-force cameos from Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Allison Janney and an outrageous Maggie Gyllenhaal, playing the most deluded feminist hippie mama imaginable, pushing even our mild-mannered protagonists over the edge. Only their stopover in Montreal rings false ― and not just because nothing on screen resembles Montreal in the least; it's also the least developed writing in an otherwise flawless script. Sam Mendes atones for making the worst date movie in years ― the heavily stylized and depressing Revolutionary Road ― by bringing his subtle visual flair to a smart rom-com that flouts convention, oozes charisma and looks shockingly normal. He shares an entertaining commentary track with Eggers and Vida (who wrote the script when they were expecting their first child), and all the usual backslapping compliments actually ring true. Away We Go is but a small part of a banner year for the couple: Eggers also wrote the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are and both of them have new novels on top of their ongoing publishing concerns. Here's hoping they never slow down. (Alliance)