Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Away We Go Depresses and Uplifts

Away We Go is the most touching offbeat comedic romance drama you'll see this year. John Krasinski from The Office and former SNLer Maya Rudolph have perfect chemistry as an unmarried couple awaiting their first baby but lost as to where to raise the little one.

They travel from place to place looking for the right acquaintances to give them signs for where to settle. Many of the supporting actors are wacky and add the insanity to Krasinski and Rudolph's cute, yet just edgy enough, lovey-doveyness. Jeff Bridges and Catherine O'Hara are brutally hilarious as Krasinski's ridiculously selfish parents. Driven away from that scene, the couple consider Phoenix before Rudolph's old boss, played by Allison Janney, and her husband (Jim Gaffigan) drive them away with their loud-mouthed frankness to their children.

The real show stealers, however, are Maggie Gyllenhaal (Adaptation, Secretary, Donnie Darko) and Josh Hamilton (Alive, Kicking and Screaming, The House of Yes) as a couple in Madison, Wisconsin, with very strange views on parenting. The 10-minute scene in their stroller-less home is classic.

The soundtrack by the relatively unknown Alexi Murdoch is stellar, in a depressingly beautiful, Nick Drake kind of way. And Sam Mendes of American Beauty fame directs.

**** out of ***** stars

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