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The Way, Way Back

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget.

Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell
  • Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
  • Writers: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
  • Producers: Kevin J. Walsh, Tom Rice
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2013
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DL46ZN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 3, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Written and directed by the team of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (winners of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants), The Way, Way Back is absolutely one of the best films of 2013 so far. And even saying that feels inadequate because it's such a fine film, a coming-of-age comedy/drama with a great script, fine performances by a superb cast, and directed with a flawless natural touch so that there's never a moment where things feel false or forced.

The Way, Way Back is seen from the point of view of Duncan (Liam James), the shy and awkward fourteen-year-old son of recently divorced Pam (Toni Collette), as they head out on a summer vacation with Pam's also-divorced boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and Trent's teenaged daughter Steph (Zoe Levin). Riding in the back of Trent's station wagon, Duncan is visibly less than thrilled at the prospect. It's quickly apparent why in the opening scene when Trent engages Duncan in conversation while Pam and Steph are sleeping, asking Duncan to rate himself on a scale from one to ten. When Duncan shrugs and rates himself a middling "six", Trent immediately responds with a down-putting

"I think you're a three. You know why I think you're a three? Since I've been dating your mom, I don't see you putting yourself out there, bud. The good news is that there are going to be plenty of opportunities for you to take advantage of at my beach house this summer. It's a big summer for all of us really. So what do you say you try to get that score up huh? Aim a little higher than a three? You up for that, buddy?"

Which tells us everything we need to know about Trent and how he deals with people.
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Format: DVD
The Way Way Back is a follow up to The Descendants for writer/director pair Nat Faxon and Jim Rash that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It is a coming of age film focused on an awkward teenager named Duncan (Liam Jones) who has been forced on a vacation with his mother and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell). The relationship between Duncan and Trent is uneasy to say the very least. The film opens with Trent telling Duncan that, on a scale of 1 to 10, Duncan is a 3. Duncan wishes he could be with his father, all while he continues to become more and more disgusted with his mother's choice in Trent. From their summer beach house he finds a bicycle and makes his way to Water Wizz, a local water park built during the 1980s, and run by Owen (Sam Rockwell) and his girlfriend Caitlyn (Maya Rudolph). At Water Wizz Duncan finds a place where he belongs as his family life continues to devolve back at the beach house.

When The Way, Way Back is centered on the story of a boy living in a divorced family and dealing with his mother's new boyfriend The Way, Way Back is a spot on, honest movie about a teenager growing up in a divided family. The material at Water Wizz is also enjoyable. The Way, Way Back does have weaknesses in deriving humor froma generic, disobedient teenage girl (Trent's daughter) and setting up a sort of romance between Duncan and the girl next store which is essentially the same romance you see in every other coming of age movie.

Occasionally hard to sit through due to the overwhelming awkwardness of the situations, one cannot penalize The Way Way Back for its accuracy. The moments watching 14 year old Duncan respond to his mother and Trent are incredibly genuine and do set the film apart.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'The Way Way Back' is really great movie which is both hysterically funny and deeply heartwarming. It tells the story of Duncan (portrayed by Liam James) and his mother Pam (portrayed by Toni Collette) as they go on a summer vacation with Pam's boyfriend Trent (portrayed by Steve Carell) and his daughter Steph. Duncan is quiet and shy and evidently not enamored with his mom's boyfriend. The summer vacation is filled with a lot of adult fun, but Duncan seems to be forgotten in the whole thing, until he finds a place to fit in at a local waterpark, where he meets Owen (portrayed by Sam Rockwell).

The movie is filled with hysterical performances by Alison Janney and Sam Rockwell, and it also has a very serious side as it examines the difficult family dynamic between the main characters. There are several secondary stories which tie nicely into the main story as well. The story is complemented by a great soundtrack, which has an eclectic mix of songs.

Overall, after seeing this movie, you might feel it is a bit formulaic and sappy, but it isn't. The combination of the very funny dialogue and the serious and heartwarming story of Duncan makes this movie a very fun one to watch. You will walk away satisfied, both from laughter and probably a few tears as well.

This one's well worth your time and whatever you spend to see it. And as if what I've written above isn't enough, I'm buying the DVD as well!
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Format: DVD
This was surprisingly a really good movie. We laughed and cried. My husband even liked it, though he didn't cry. One of the best movies I have seen all year and a welcome relief from all of the superhero/action flicks that we are bombarded with. Left the theater smiling.
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