Wish you could spend summer at a beach house? Hop in “The Way, Way Back” (2013, rated PG-13), screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library as part of its Free Film Series.
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s film begins with 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) in the very back of his mother’s boyfriend’s car, while Trent the boyfriend (Steve Carell), Duncan’s mother (Toni Collette), and Trent’s teenage daughter (Zoe Levin) ride up front. Their first trip together as a “family” begins with Trent asking Duncan to rate himself, and then Trent correcting that rating.
The exquisite awkwardness continues upon their arrival at Trent’s beach house, as the very friendly neighbor (Allison Janney) insinuates that Trent has brought many girlfriends, and then as Duncan is reluctantly sent to beach with Trent’s daughter and her friends.
As vacation drags on and family life deteriorates, the only relief Duncan finds is in the company of Owen (the excellent Sam Rockwell), a manager at the local water park, who treats him like a human.
Oddly, Owen treats everyone as though they are interesting and worth his time. Even more bizarrely, he demands nothing in return.
“The Way, Way Back” is a perhaps unwelcome reminder that we can’t take a furlough from our problems; the only way past them is — most unwelcome of all! — to learn. However, it’s also really, really funny.
All screenings the Mesa Public Library Free Film Series are free of charge, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries. The series brings movies to the library’s upstairs meeting-room theater on the first Thursday of nearly every month.
Next month enjoy “A Most Wanted Man” Aug. 4, followed by “Bad Day At Black Rock” Sept. 1, “Election” Oct. 6, “Born Yesterday” Nov. 3 and “Paper Moon” Dec. 1.
For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or check online at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library/Pages/default.aspx under “Events and Classes.”