ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ryan's Review: The Way Way Back.

Updated on July 30, 2013

The Way, Way Back tells us the story of Duncan (Liam James), an awkward teenager who undergoes a transformation over one summer, becoming comfortable with himself and how the world works. Throughout the summer, his relationship with with his mother (Toni Collette), and her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell) change as Duncan comes out of his shell, and he connects with Owen (Sam Rockwell), the manager of Water Wizz, the water park near when Duncan is vacationing.

The Cons.

Is the plot completely original?
No. We've seen the "summer that changed my adolescent life" movies a thousand times.
You put a boy in a new environment, allow him to find a place where he feels comfortable enough to come out of his shell, and watch how he grows.
From Meatballs to Superbad, we've seen the magic of what happens to teenagers during the summer a million times.

Having said that...

My seemingly never-ending list of Pros.

I loved this movie.
Loved it, loved it, loved it.

It's true, in your lifetime you may see a thousand movies with this plot, I've never seen one quite as good as The Way, Way Back.

Where to begin... That's a tough question.
The acting is phenomenal. I can't think of any character that wasn't acted out perfectly.

Liam James is so incredibly awkward that you begin to sympathize with his character from the very first scene, and never stop.

Steve Carell plays "the evil stepfather" so well in this movie that I almost hate him in real life. He easily pulls off this tone of entitled arrogance, and shows a side of himself that makes you forget about how funny he is in almost everything else.

Allison Janney steals every scene with her performance as the drunk and self-absorbed Betty, the woman who is renting the beach house next door. Her character is so wildly entertaining that you feel uncomfortable for the other characters in the scene.

But the performance that sold The Way, Way Back for me was Sam Rockwell's "Owen".
Rockwell manages to portray a snarky and carefree character one minute, as he takes young Duncan under his wing, and simultaneously hint at a more sad and emotionally burdened character.

It's all too much for me to explain really. It's quirky, it's bittersweet, it's heartwarming, and it's a must see for everyone who ever felt like they just didn't fit in.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Never even heard of this movie...will check it out now!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)