I’ve been kind of down on the feel-good stuff lately. So, we’re going to try something different: I’m going to recommend a cute movie that I really liked from a while ago. Sam Mendes’s Away We Go is a gem of a movie from 2009 that I don’t think got the love it deserved. It features an expectant couple visiting various friends while trying to find a place to put down roots before their baby arrives. You can rent this one on iTunes and YouTube. Here are five reasons to do just that this weekend.
#1 – A nice onscreen couple
John Krasinski’s Burt and Maya Rudolph’s Verona are a sweet yet realistic onscreen couple. Burt loves Verona, and tries his best to offer her some support during her pregnancy. Cards on the table: it’s adorable to watch a guy telling his beloved that he’ll love her even when she’s heavily pregnant and can’t see her vagina anymore. There’s something sweet about someone who doesn’t know how to tell you that you’re supported no matter what. Sometimes, even a crude gesture is worthwhile, because we just want to know that we’re still beautiful to you.
#2 – Maggie Gyllenhaal’s LN
Jesus Christ, we all know this woman. LN (pronounced “Ellen”) is everything that could possibly go wrong with feminism. She’s so militant that she’s surpassed the point of combative and gone straight to closed-minded. She does not have a single nice thing to say to our couple, yet phrases it like it’s somehow a concerned compliment. She’s inherited a lot of money, which funds a lifestyle of looking down her nose at those that may not be able to afford. Thing is… we’ve all met a variation of this woman. You cringe even more because of this fact. She’s captured beautifully by Gyllenhaal, who makes the character that much more authentic. Worth a watch just for that.
#3 – The stroller
LN and her insufferable husband Roderick (Josh Hamilton) have a kid they refuse to put into a stroller. Burt decides to put the kid in a stroller. Hilarity ensues. A short sequence, but one that’s so satisfying in its build up.
#4 – Parents that aren’t Ozzy and Harriet
Film sucks sometimes when it comes to parents. It likes to show us the sanitized version of parenthood: everyone is happy, no one fights, everything is hunky dory. Not in this film. Burt and Verona get to see different facets of parenthood, from Burt’s self-centered parents (forgivable because his mom is played by Catherine O’Hara, who is divine) to bitter marraiges to fertility struggles to a parent that decides to bolt and leave a child behind. People so often want to project this image of happiness so much that the other side of the coin – the one that’s closer to what we choose to ignore in everyday life – is neglected. This provides some balance.
#5 – Finding home
I’m a firm believer that home is a place that has a pull; it’s the people and the place you feel you’re meant to find. Watching someone search for that is reassuring for those of us still searching for home; if you’ve found it already, you want them to find it all the more. You want Burt and Verona to be happy with their baby. It’s an all-around sweet message.
If you’re in the mood for something that will remind you that it’s okay to be human and it’s okay to not know where you’re going, this one is definitely for you.