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Family Movie Review: The Way, Way Back (PG-13)

TheWayWayBack ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG-13         Length: 103 minutes

Age Appropriate for: 14+. The film is about an out-of-place teenager struggling to get along with his emotionally distant, would-be stepfather, so there is some pot-smoking by adults, some drinking by teens and a lot by adults on vacation, some cursing (including one use each of the c-word and the f-word), some sexually themed jokes, and some kissing. Typical coming-of-age teen-drama stuff.

Writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won an Oscar for adapting the George Clooney-starring ‘The Descendants,’ and with ‘The Way, Way Back,’ they’re tackling directing for the first time, too. Faxon and Rash spoke with Chesapeake Family about their latest film, a teen coming-of-age story that takes place at a water park, draws heavily from both of their childhoods, and assures younger audiences that the cliché is true—being confident in who you are is paramount.

By Roxana Hadadi

“The Way, Way Back” begins with successful car salesman Trent (Steve Carell, of “Despicable Me 2,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” “Hope Springs,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” “Despicable Me,” and “Date Night”) asking his would-be stepson Duncan (Liam James, of “2012”), what number he thinks he rates on a scale of 1 to 10. Duncan answers 6; Trent scoffs and dictates 3. It’s a cutting moment of cruelty that sets the stage for the rest of the film—and is drawn directly from the childhood of the film’s co-writer and co-director Jim Rash. Rash is a successful writer and actor, and has an Academy Award for adapting “The Descendants,” sure. But moments like that are hard to forget.

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