Away We Go – Review

“Away We Go” is a little independent film from 2009 (directed by Sam Mendes) starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as an unmarried couple (Burt and Verona) in their early 30s who find out that they are expecting a baby. As they realize the position they are in, living  near Burt’s parents (who announce they are moving to Europe a month before the baby is to be born), they ask if they are “fuck-ups,” since they have no idea what they doing with their lives.

Verona won’t marry him, no matter how often he asks. She cannot reconcile her parents’ death, no matter how much her little sister wants to talk about it. Burt is bound by the “old boys’ club” rules as an independent insurance broker, dealing with older clients who don’t expect to deal with a 33-year old with no real life.

Convinced that they aren’t  fuck-ups, but equally convinced that they need to find out where they are supposed to be, they decide to find a place where they can make a home, wherever that turns out to be.

Traveling to Phoenix (and surrounds), Wisconsin, Montreal, and with an unscheduled visit to Florida, they eventually come to realize that they are not an old, bitter, married couple (like her friends in Arizona), or a new-age, hippy couple (his old friend and her husband/kids), or their college friends in Montreal, with their rainbow of adopted children and frequent trips to “dance karaoke” bars.

After an agonizing visit to Burt’s brother, whose wife has just left him and their daughter, they finally figure out where their home will be, and they reconcile their issues about whose life they are trying to live: their own.

The chemistry between Krasinski and Rudolph comes across as genuine, but that may be because they both seem so likable in all the roles they play, and watching them come to grips with the world  and their place in it is alternately heart-warming and distressing as they encounter the various couples on their travels.

In the end, their daughter will wind up in a loving home with parents that seem to “get it” more than some conventional families seem to.

This is an excellent movie, and I highly recommend it.

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