The Way, Way Back (film)

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The Way, Way Back (film)
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Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating (USA): PG13
Director: Nat Faxon
Jim Rash
Starring: Liam James
Steve Carell


The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, in their directorial debut. Duncan is a cute but award 14 year-old at a beach vacation town for the summer with his mom and her awful new boyfriend. He is angry and depressed until he meets Owen a 30-something guy who owns a waterslide park. Owen offers Duncan a job and mentors him, helping him develop self-confidence and happiness.

The film ends with one of the best crypto boysex metaphors ever!

Plot

14-year-old Duncan reluctantly goes on summer vacation to a beach house in a small seaside town in Cape Cod with his mother Pam, her boyfriend Trent and Trent's daughter Steph. Trent exhibits behavior towards Duncan that borders on emotional abuse by often making comments and gestures that are belittling and rude towards him. They arrive at the beach house and are greeted by the neighbors, hard-drinking Betty, and her children, Susanna and Peter. Duncan and Susanna have an awkward conversation from their adjacent porches.

Duncan discovers a pink, sparkly "girl's bike" in the garage of the beach house and begins exploring the town. He eventually runs into the staff of the local water park, Water Wizz, at the local pizza joint. He has a brief interaction with the laid-back manager, Owen, who takes Duncan under his wing and shows him around the park. Duncan is introduced to the park's colorful, rag-tag group of employees: Caitlyn, Lewis, and Roddy. Several kids at the water park speak reverently of a legendary "pass" in the tube slide, wondering how it could have been done. Owen hires Duncan for odd jobs at the Water Wizz. Duncan views the water park as an escape from his unhappy life at the beach house.

Duncan views the job as great, compared to unhappy life back at the beach house. He is continually abandoned by his mom, who indulges in drinking, staying out at night, and smoking pot with other adult vacationers. At a Fourth of July cookout, Duncan witnesses Trent and Joan kissing by the side of the house, but does not reveal what he saw.

Pam begins to suspect they are having an affair, but is convinced by Trent that nothing is going on. Later, Duncan confronts Pam in front of friends and neighbors and tells her that he knows about Trent's affair. Trent in turn reveals to Duncan that the boy had to spend the summer at the beach house because his divorced father did not want to take care of him, which leads Duncan to run away. Susanna follows him and comforts Duncan out on the beach. Duncan attempts to kiss Susanna, but she moves away, which makes him become even more upset. Duncan sneaks away to Water Wizz where he sees that Owen is throwing a going away party for Lewis, one of his employees.

After spending all night with his friends at Water Wizz, Duncan is still at the park the next morning, refusing to leave. Owen confronts him and asks him why he doesn't want to go home. Duncan opens up to Owen about his relationship with Trent and how the water park is the only place where he is happy. Owen sympathizes to Duncan's problems with Trent as he grew up with an emotionally abusive father as well, saying that his relationship with his father led to his disdain for patterns and rules.

When Duncan arrives back at the beach house, Pam tells him they will be leaving with Trent. Betty and her kids arrive to say their goodbyes, Susanna finally kisses Duncan, admitting that she "was just surprised" when she avoided his kiss earlier. When Trent stops for gas on their way out of town, Duncan jumps out of the station wagon and runs to Water Wizz. He tells Owen and the other employees that he has to leave and tells Owen to follow him. He takes Owen to the Devil's Peak slide, and Duncan becomes the first person to ever "pass" someone in the water slide while the rest of the park watches on. Duncan says goodbye to everyone at the park and walks away with his mother. Trent, Steph, Pam, and Duncan regroup in the car, and they head out of town. Eventually Pam climbs into backseat of the car, the way way back, and they share a smile as Trent's protests can be heard in the background. (It is implied that she will end her relationship with Trent.) [1]

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