Burt [John Krasinski] and Verona [Maya Rudolph] are six months along the road to having their first child when they learn Burt’s parents, Gloria [Catherine O’Hara] and Jerry [Jeff Daniels], are moving to Brussels a month before their grandchild is due. Since they moved to be nearby the grandparents-to-be, this causes unexpected turmoil – but Gloria and Jerry’s selfishness inspire the couple to seek a better place to raise their daughter.
Since they both have good jobs that they can do over a phone, they can live wherever they want – so they pick a number of possible places, places where they at least know someone, and set out. Phoenix, Tucson, Montreal, Miami – each place they visit provides them with a good reason to move on. Finally, they settle on a place that is simultaneously a surprise and seemingly inevitable. That’s pretty much it for plot.
Away We Go is a new film by Sam Mendes that tells the story of a couple who are expecting their first child. Verona (Maya Rudolph) is an early 30’s artist who wanted to know if she is ready for the next step. Burt (John Krasinski) is her boyfriend who can be a bit goofy but is always supportive of Verona.
One day, while meeting with Burt’s parents they found out that his parents are moving to Belgium for two years of the baby’s life. At first, Burt & Verona were distraught that his parents will not be in the baby’s life. However, Verona decide that they should leave their home and travel across the country to find the perfect place for their upcoming family. So, they packed up and headed to Phoenix, AZ; Madison, WI, and Montreal, Quebec . Along the way, they met up with old friends and relatives who can help them find their “home”. At various points in the film, Verona wonders if Burt and her have what it takes to become great parents and improve their lives before the baby arrives. Burt wonders why Verona will not marry him since he had always been by her side.
Away We Go is one of the best films I have seen this summer. The casting could not be better! Krasinski and Rudolph played their roles so well that soon-to-be parents can relate to the struggles and the triumphs that everyone may endure. Burt & Verona showed great chemistry throughout the film. It was like looking at a documentary of a young couple getting ready to become a happy family. I have to give praise to Allison Janney who plays Lillian, a former coworker of Verona who we meet in Phoenix. Lillian is so hilarious that she is funny and obnoxious at the same time. Lillian just steals the Phoenix scenes hands down when she talks about her kids and her husband Lowell (Jim Gaffigan) in the most embarassing way imaginable. Another scene stealing performance goes to Maggie Gyllenhal who plays LN (Yes you read the spelling correctly). LN is a professor at a University who is into the new age of things and is somehow against strollers.
Away We Go is a journey about adulthood and responsibility. It cleverly disguises itself within the movie. The way it did was done so well that it can speak to people. I have to give Kudos to Maya Rudolph. She has come a long way from her long stint on Saturday Night Live. To see her in the role of Verona allows us to see Maya in a dramatic role that’s fit to a T. Maya has found her starring vehicle as a dramatic actress. I proudly tip my hat to her outstanding performance. John Krasinski’s role as Burt was very good as well. Krasinski, know for his role in The Office, played Burt as this very suporrtive, often goofy, very friendly gentleman. If we keep seeing films like this, Hollywood won’t need all the hype. It just need a great story, wonderful casting and a brilliant director to blend it all together.
FINAL GRADE: A+
I will declare that Away We Go is the Sleeper Hit for Summer 2009!