Away We Go
|Away We Go|
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Sam Mendes|
|Produced by||Edward Saxon|
|Written by||Dave Eggers|
|Music by||Alexi Murdoch (Songs)|
|Edited by||Sarah Flack|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Box office||$14.9 million|
It had a limited theater release in the United States starting June 5, 2009. It opened the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on September 29, 2009.
Verona De Tessant (Maya Rudolph) and Burt Farlander (John Krasinski) are in their early thirties living in the Denver, Colorado area and struggling to meet daily needs and build fulfilling lives. When they learn they will soon become parents, they are confronted with the challenge of how – and where – to raise a child and build a happy family.
Six months into Verona's pregnancy, the couple visit their only family in the area, Burt's parents, Gloria and Jerry (Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels), only to find that Gloria and Jerry have decided to move to Antwerp, Belgium, a month before the baby is due. They also announce that they will be gone for two years and they have already rented the place out to another couple, despite Burt's and Verona's situation. Frustrated with Gloria and Jerry's selfishness and careless attitude, Burt and Verona decide this is an opportunity to find somewhere else to raise their family, since they are both employed in situations where they can work from home and live wherever they choose.
They first visit Phoenix, Arizona, meeting up with Verona's old boss, Lily (Allison Janney), her husband, Lowell (Jim Gaffigan), and their two children. Burt in particular is disturbed by Lily and Lowell's crass and mean-spirited behavior toward one another and their children.
Burt and Verona next visit Verona's sister, Grace (Carmen Ejogo), in Tucson, Arizona. At Verona's request, Burt tries to persuade Grace to stay with her boring boyfriend. When Burt takes a call and displays his trademark humor, Grace tells Verona that she is lucky to have him and Verona agrees.
They next visit Burt's childhood friend and pseudo-cousin in Madison, Wisconsin, "LN" (pronounced "ellen") (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a college professor at the University of Wisconsin with inherited money and radical views about parenting. Burt and Verona bring a stroller as a gift, greatly angering LN as she and her husband Roderick (Josh Hamilton) are a "continuum home." When Roderick's condescension and LN's backhanded compliments to Verona get to be too much for Burt, he tells them they are horrible people and he and Verona leave but not before taking their son on a wild stroller ride through the house (which he enjoys).
Burt and Verona then visit old college friends in Montreal, Tom (Chris Messina) and his wife, Munch Garnett (Melanie Lynskey), and their diverse family of adopted children. Verona and Burt are happy to have found a loving family and a nice town and decide to move to Montreal. When the couples go to dinner, we learn that Burt has proposed marriage to Verona many times, but she always refuses (it is revealed later that this stems from anguish over her dead parents' inevitable absence from the wedding.) After dinner, Tom confesses to Burt that Munch has recently suffered her fifth miscarriage and that they seem unable to have biological children.
In the morning, Burt receives an emergency call from his brother, Courtney (Paul Schneider), in Miami, whose wife has left him. Burt and Verona fly to Miami, where Courtney worries about his young daughter and the potential effects of a divorce on her. Burt tries to comfort Courtney while Verona spends time with his daughter. Burt and Verona spend the night outside on a trampoline, promising to love each other and their daughter and have a happy home.
The next day, Verona tells Burt a story about her childhood house and her parents (who were both killed in a car crash when she was 22). Moved by her memory, they decide to settle in Verona's old family home on the Florida Panhandle. Realizing it is the place for them, they sit together happily, overlooking the water.
- John Krasinski as Burt Farlander
- Maya Rudolph as Verona De Tessant
- Carmen Ejogo as Grace De Tessant
- Jeff Daniels as Jerry Farlander
- Catherine O'Hara as Gloria Farlander
- Allison Janney as Lily
- Jim Gaffigan as Lowell
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as LN
- Josh Hamilton as Roderick
- Melanie Lynskey as Munch Garnett
- Chris Messina as Tom Garnett
- Paul Schneider as Courtney Farlander
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a positive rating of 68% based on 182 reviews, with an average rating of 6.57/10. The critical consensus reads, "Built on a set of quirks and charms that are as noticeable as they are interchangeable, Away We Go is a sweet but uneven road trip". A.O. Scott of The New York Times described the two main characters as self-righteous people "aware of their special status as uniquely sensitive, caring, smart and cool beings on a planet full of cretins and failures". In response to reviews "accusing Verona and Burt of being smug, superior and condescending," Roger Ebert said that "these are not sins if you have something to be smug about and much reason to condescend." He gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 58 out of 100, based on 33 reviews.
(All songs by Alexi Murdoch except where noted)
- "All My Days" (4:57)
- "Orange Sky" (6:18)
- "Blue Mind" (5:45)
- "Song for You" (4:38)
- "Breathe" (4:18)
- "Towards the Sun" (4:40)
- "Meet Me in the Morning" by Bob Dylan (4:21)
- "What Is Life" by George Harrison (4:24)
- "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers (3:30)
- "Wait" (5:59)
- "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" by The Velvet Underground (7:28)
- "The Ragged Sea" (3:19)
- "Crinan Wood" (5:45)
"All My Days" was featured in the film's trailer.
- "Away We Go (2009) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Jaafar, Ali (14 April 2009). "Sam Mendes film to open Edinburgh". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- The couple describe the continuum movement as fighting against the world's tendency to separate parents from their children; they recite the movement's mantra as "the 3 S: No separation, no sugar, no strollers."
- Away We Go at Rotten Tomatoes
- A. O. Scott (5 June 2009). "Movie Review – Away We Go – Practicing Virtue, and Proud of It". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (June 10, 2009), "Away We Go". RogerEbert.com Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- "Away We Go (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 October 2010.[permanent dead link]