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Away We Go

The one problem with a dramedy is that it’s really hard to do well.  It never commits to either being a comedy or a drama so the scenes that venture in either direction are either not as funny as they could be or not as dramatic as their suppose to be taken.  That seems to be the problem with this.  I wanted to love this movie since I saw the trailer.  It stars John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (SNL) as a couple who are about to have a baby who travel to different cities trying to figure out where they want to live after finding out their only living parents are moving to Belgium.  It’s written by David Eggers and his wife Vendela Vida.  They’re both very accomplished novelists who basically used their own lives to create this story, and although many parts are fictional, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that most of it is true.  It’s directed by Sam Mendes who is an amazing director who’s done “American Beauty,” “Jarhead,” “Road to Perdition,” and “Revolutionary Road.”  He does a wonderful job guiding his characters through complex scenes of humor and tragedy, just like he did in other films.  But it just never seemed to grip me the way his movies did in the past.  But what I did like was the concept behind the film.  Krasinski and Rudolph see lots of friends and family in all these cities and through that they see lots of different styles of families that are out there.  Some of these are hilarious and some are downright depressing.  All of them are championed by an amazing cast of actors that range from Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara.  Besides realizing the different ways they don’t want to raise a family they also see the different problems that having a family can create.  I thought that was really touching to see.  And while experiencing this, they begin to work out their own issues as well.  Again, it’s a really great concept.  Did it translate as well as it should have – probably not.  I can’t even really say where it lacked.  There are some belly laughs, Krasinski delivers another excellent performance and the film feels soft and inviting.  However I never knew how to interpret most of the scenes.  I was confused on what the goal of the film was.  I wasn’t really shaken by any of the drama and I wasn’t dying from most of the jokes.  I just kind of sat there and enjoyed watching the journey these two were taking.  And judging by the types of characters Krasinski and Rudolph played…I imagine that’s all they would want from me in return.
Away We Go (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B