Last night Jim and I were looking for a good Saturday night movie to watch after Little Man was in bed. We stumbled across Away We Go, a 2009 comedy/drama directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes and written by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. It starred that cutie, I mean, "good actor", John Krasinski from the Office, so I figured it was worth a watch. What a pleasant surprise. It was so well done. And, as a theater person, great acting gets me excited and there were some really good (and funny) performances in this film. Krasinsky was a slightly geeky, but sweet natured boyfriend to Maya Rudolph's character who gets pregnant, and they both find themselves wondering if they are f- ups because they are in their early thirties, pregnant and not truly settled yet. Maya Rudolph (daughter of singer Minnie "Loving You" Ripperton and former Saturday Night Live cast member) gave a surprisingly straight and touching performance, particularly in the last scene. Kasinsky and Rudolph had a nice chemistry between them. I think most anyone would like this, unless you are prudish, then you will find the opening scene in, um, bad taste (couldn't resist). But, I LOVED the cameo performances in this film. Catherine O'hara (Of Waiting For Guffman and various other Christopher Guest films) was hilarious as usual as Krasinsky's selfish mom who decided to move to Belgium with her husband (played by a dry-humoured Jeff Daniels) one month before their grandchild is born. This drives Krasinsky and Randolph to set out to find a home near loved ones. They visit an old co-worker of hers, played by Allison Janne, who is completely insane and extremely funny as well. As someone who has studied the virtues of attachment parenting, I howled during the scene where they visit Krasinsky's "cousin" played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Rudolph misunderstands her name to be "Ellen", but it was "LN" for lactation nurse. They walk in to see her for the first time tandum nursing a big boy and an infant. She and her husband played by Josh Hamilton are absolutely hilarious, and the faux pas of the young couple bringing them a stroller as a gift had me literally laughing out loud. Also, as one who has dealt with infertility and pondering adoption, I was touched by the storyline of their friends they visit in Montreal who have a housefull of adopted kids. Rudolph decides that she wants what that family has. But the heartbreak of infertility bubbles up and is beautifully portrayed in the words of Chris Messina's character and in the sadness on Melanie Lynskey's face. The storyline of a motherless little girl was intense as well. I definitely recommend this film to anyone who is specifically interested in parenting or in fine films in general.
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com