‘The Way, Way Back’


I went to see The Way, Way Back this weekend A. because it’s 100 degrees in NYC, so there’s not much else to do, and B. and more importantly, because the movie was shot and is set somewhere very familiar to me.

Lady Erin’s family has beach houses in Duxbury, MA on Green Harbor Beach, where Mr. Steve Carell’s family also has a beach house (how posh, Erin). So, presumably, this is why his new movie is set at this very beach.

Here are some photos of the movie being filmed last year, taken by a real-life Duxbury native and fellow Ryan:

Photo: F. Ryan  Filming the party

Photo: F. Ryan
Filming the party

Photo: F. Ryan Steve Carell

Photo: F. Ryan
Steve Carell

Photo: F. Ryan Allison Janney

Photo: F. Ryan
Allison Janney

Anyway, many a beach party has been held here, so we had to go watch it on the big screen. And, I’m happy to say it would have been worth seeing even if the setting was a stranger. The movie is done by the people who did Little Miss Sunshine and Juno, so it has that quirky indie vibe – and it’s a lot more hilarious than I imagined it would be.


I missed the very beginning, so I walked in at the scene when Steve Carell is arriving at the beach with his girlfriend, Toni Collette and her son. They are greeted by the outrageous Allison Janney, who basically steals the movie. She manages to be just inappropriate and crazy enough to be totally believable as a real person, yet way more entertaining than most people you know. It helps too that she has a son with an extreme lazy eye that she always makes fun of.

“I don’t know where you’re looking. You have to point!”

The lazy eye actually just makes her kid even more awesome. No 8-year-old I know, let alone one with a crazy wandering eyeball, would show up at an adult party and say “I’m going to go mingle. I’ll circle back.”

The-Way-Way-Back-Review_t614The point of the story is that Steve Carell is a d-bag and makes Toni Collette’s painfully awkward 14-year-old son miserable. When he gets to “spring break for adults,” he is even more miserable so he rides a Barbie bike to Water Wizz, the local water park. Here he ends up bonding with the adult staff, and puts on an embarrassing display of break dancing moves – it becomes a coming of age thing and it’s all very sweet.

www-annasophia-robb-us-AnnaSophia-Robb-for-The-Way-Way-back-Trailer-annasophia-robb-34215474-1200-645He also meets a girl and her bitchy teenage friends who say really accurate things like “I don’t get her face.”

I highly approve of this movie. Go see it.

Erin’s comments on authenticity of the location: “Never have I ever ridden my bike to Water Wizz – because it’s in Plymouth.”

Photos of the place:


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