Away We Went

I’ve actually revealed this neurosis of mine before, but I need to hash it out some more.  When I see a movie I really, really like, I usually need to stay for most, if not all, of the credits.  I’m not like my aunt Terry who has to stay for all of the credits of every movie.  Certainly not!  In fact, I really can’t imagine stomaching staying through all of the credits of a movie like, say, The Reader.  Pukeasaurus Rex.  But when I think a movie’s really good, there are several reasons why I want to stay: (1) I want to give every name involved a little of my time in a small effort to show my respect and admiration and gratitude; (2) I often want to check who played whom and who did the music; and (3), and this is usually the biggest reason, I need time to collect myself before moving on with my life.  And this third one is the one that gets me in real trouble.  I LOVE seeing movies in the theater.  I love the grandeur, the shared experience, the sound, everything.  I just love, love, love, love, love it.  But there is little that I hate more in this world than the end-of-a-great-movie experience in which I am sitting paralyzed with emotion, trying to absorb what I have just seen and been through and listening to the final song of the film (sometimes the most important song, like in Gran Torino & The Wrestler) when people all around me just start talking and — the worst — laughing and moving on with their lives at a rate I can’t contemplate.  It makes me so annoyed and angry and then I’m left not being able to soak in the whole experience and irked with myself for letting it get to me.  The thing is, I know I’ve probably pissed someone else off in the same way folks have done for me.  I think it’s probably a safe (though disturbing) bet that someone was moved by The Reader and I couldn’t get out of the theater fast enough and I’m sure I let out an inappropriate chuckle.  Ugh.  So, I know there’s no real solution to this problem.  If I want the movie theater experience, I just need to understand that this is going to happen.  Again and again.  As it did tonight.

Tonight we saw a truly lovely, moving portrait of a 30-something couple trying to navigate through life and figure out where they belong.  In Away We Go, Burt & Verona are a couple who are very much in love and about to have a baby.  They don’t, however, know quite where they should live.  They want to live in a city with family or friends or both.  They want to feel rooted.  So, they travel North America — Phoenix, Tucson, Madison (!!! though it’s not really Madison, but it is very pretty), Montreal & Miami — in an effort to find out what city fits them.  Along the way, we are introduced to a bunch of characters from their past: In Phoenix is Verona’s ex-boss; in Madison is Burt’s childhood family friend; in Montreal, the couple’s college friends.  Some of the people they visit are totally bonkers (Maggie Gyllenhall plays so insane and is part of one of the best scenes in the movie: John Krasinski + stroller = madcap comedy.  Who knew?), and some are incredibly sympathetic and stirring.  But it’s Burt and Verona that make the film.  Their effort to make it as a couple, as a family, in a tough, unfair world moved me to tears.  It is one of those precious, rare films that makes us remember that just being here, just loving someone is really beautiful.  And it’s enough.

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7 Responses to “Away We Went”


  1. 1 Sarayu July 9, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I can’t wait to see “Away We Go!” It looks so adorable. I like staying for the credits of a great movie too. It just feels like closure, like it’s the time to sit for a minute and sort of process, while confirming a cast member or two. Plus, sometimes there’s some cute little extra scenes and I like seeing what fun little things they’ve come up with. If it’s horrible, and I just want to get out of there, I usually at least rush out quietly so I don’t ruin that time for the people who had some connection with the movie- though, frankly, I’m probably judging them.

  2. 2 gretchen July 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Kate: This post was so beautiful and well-written, it brought tears to my eyes. 🙂

  3. 3 Sara H July 9, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Yay! I thought I probably wanted to see this movie, and now I definitely do. What a great review, thanks! This is now #1 on my list, must-do in the theater.

    I agree on the credits thing. Russ is always up and out of his seat, and I’m always like, wait a second, I want to see who played who, what the soundtrack is, and generally have a moment to wrap up what I thought. Unless that movie is terrible (such as I Am Legend), in which case I need no time to consider and must get out of the theater quickly to spew venom.

  4. 4 gracieandkate July 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I really do recommend it. And I was just thinking about another thing that made it so special and unusual: the drama was outside the couple. I mean, they had things to work out between each other and all that, but John Krasinski’s Burt is so refreshing — he is an adult male with a silly job, but he’s loving, tender, caring, funny, devoted — without being a pushover — and protective and loyal when he needs to be. It’s really so nice to see a male character who is charming, without being unrealistic, and committed, without being dopey and ‘whipped.’ [I hate that term.] Nice work, writers. Nice work, John. And Maya Rudolph’s Verona is adorable and thoughtful. She’s worried without being neurotic. There was just no insulting pretense — I mean, it was cute in When Harry Met Sally when Sally needs everything on the side, but romcoms have taken this to an annoying and fake level. This couple was so real and not dysfunctional. I don’t know when, if ever, I’ve seen that.

  5. 5 Sarayu July 9, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    “romcoms.” Brilliant.

  6. 6 gwendolyngarden July 10, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I’m definitely putting this in the queue. I’d never heard of it but it sounds sweet. Thanks for the recommendation K!

  7. 7 Sarayu July 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I finally saw it last night and it was absolutely brilliant and acting was amazing. I wept through the whole damn movie, but they were just so great together. So great. I found myself having to wait until the end of the credits as well. Mostly because I was still a bit emotional and I wasn’t ready to move out of their world yet, and partly because I wanted to see who sang the songs.

    It’s so satisfying to watch great acting and great writing. So satisfying. Next, Marc Webb’s “500 Days of Summer.” Boy, do I wish I was in better touch with him.


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