Archives / 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The Way, Way Back

Film Still

Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Screenwriters: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Institute History

  • 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Description

The Way, Way Back tells the story of 14-year-old Duncan’s awkward, funny, and sometimes painful summer vacation with his mother, Pam, her overbearing boyfriend, Trent, and his daughter, Steph. Although Duncan has a tough time fitting in and finding his place, he does find an unlikely ally and mentor in Owen, a carefree employee at the local water park where Duncan gets a job. Over the course of the summer, as his mother drifts further away, Duncan—with encouragement from Owen—begins to open up and come into his own.

Mining the caverns of human vulnerability for the humor necessary to make life bearable, first-time directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash have transformed their terrific screenplay into a bittersweet comedy that is both charming and insightful. Boasting an extraordinary ensemble of some of the most revered actors working today, as well as a young actor destined to join their ranks, The Way, Way Back brims with nostalgia for the magical time of adolescence, as well as the great coming-of-age films of the 1980s that captured its wide-eyed confusion and wonder.

— T. G.

Screening Details

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