The Way Way Back – DVD review

The story of a 14-year-old boy coming out of his shell manages to steer clear of the schmaltz

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Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, 2013

20th Century Fox

Fourteen-year-old Duncan (Liam James) is dreading summer at the beach with his mum (Toni Collette) and her jumped-up boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell). Worse still are the other grown-ups who embarrass him with dirty dancing and getting drunk.

But things start looking up when he discovers Water Wizz, a flume-filled fun park, presided over by charming yet childish manager Owen (Sam Rockwell), whose japes help Duncan come out from under his shell. Sounds schmaltzy? Surprisingly, it isn’t: the performances are great, especially James, who switches from mute to goofy and back again, as only teenage boys can.

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