Review: ‘Way Back’ is charming if predictable

July 3, 2013 • Entertainment

This film publicity image released by Fox Searchlight shows Liam James, left, and Nat Faxon in a scene from “The Way Way Back.” (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Claire Folger)

There’s something inherently formulaic about summer coming-of-age movies. A quirky, awkward and misunderstood kid takes a summer off from regular life and finds a way — at the beach or by the pool — to, well, come of age, often with the help of an equally quirky adult. Summer ends. Life is changed.

And that’s precisely what happens in “The Way, Way Back,” featuring an expert cast led by Steve Carell, Toni Collette and the terrific Sam Rockwell as that quirky adult.

Luckily, though, the film, written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, is done with enough skill and delicacy that its adherence to formula doesn’t matter quite so much. Yes, it could have been a better movie had it taken bolder plot turns. But that likely won’t diminish the smile on Login to read more

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