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The Way, Way Back

If you enjoyed Adventureland but felt it had just a touch too much land, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's The Way, Way Back promises to pull some of those same coming-of-age heartstrings, only this time do so at a water park. That’s where the incredibly awkward Liam James goes to seek refuge from his huge prick of a stepfather—played by a surprisingly buff Steve Carell, as part of his recent effort to stop playing the good-natured doormat—and enter the tutelage of easygoing big bros like Sam Rockwell and Nat Faxon, who teach him how to stand up for himself and properly ogle girls. Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Alison Janney, Amanda Peet, Toni Collette, and Jim Rash (who co-wrote and co-directed the film with Faxon) are also in James’ orbit, playing some of the various parents who do and don’t understand. At $10 million, The Way, Way Back earned the distinction of being the most expensive acquisition to come out of Sundance, with Fox Searchlight banking on its likable cast and breezy appeal to give it another Little Miss Sunshine. But at the very least, they already got their money’s worth in water. Hoo boy, lookit all that water!