Away We Go to the cinema (Bel's review)

Posted by Bel. The time is 3:49pm here in Wellington, NZ.

Thanks to, I got a sneak preview of Away We Go, which is due for general release here in New Zealand next week. Directed by Sam Mendes from a script by husband and wife team, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, this film is a romantic comedy with real laughs and no sickly sweet after taste.

Lou mentioned in her review that some people might be irritated by the film, whereas other would really connect with it. I think the film is enough of a crowd-pleaser that it could be recommended generally - it is in the vein of Little Miss Sunshine, with that same edgy humour and occasional poignancy, not to mention its portrayal of your 'average family' as being pretty much dysfunctional.

Many of my friends and extended family have plunged into the world of parenthood over the last couple of years, not to mention myself. There was more than one cringe of recognition and unintended raucous burst of laughter, I'll tell ya. The host of supporting characters, played to perfection by actors from Jeff Daniels to Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Melanie Lynskey to (love her) Catherine O'Hara, would seem over the top if they didn't bring to mind so quickly... this person... that person...

I'm not familiar with Vida's work, but much of Egger's writing has dealt with themes of abandonment and establishing identity and searching for a sense of propriety while throwing off boundaries. I liked the way this film explored this, and that it was done in the context of a monogamous couple, happy within their relationship.

The film was shot by cinematographer Ellen Kuras, who has collaborated with Spike Lee and Michel Gondry among others, and her work here is subtle but impactful (similar to Lou's feelings regarding Sam Mendes' directing).

To read Lou's review of Away We Go, click here!

And click here to read a great interview with Our Dave, talking about the creation of Away We Go and why Sam Mendes got on board, as well as his screenplay for Where The Wild Things Are, what Toph is up to know, and other things that are just fascinating to know if you care about him as much as we do. Which you should.