Although Romance Comedy (RomComs) is one of the most popular movie types, it is strange how there is a fixed sequence of events and plot stages that most of these genre’s movies go through which you can’t help but notice:
A boy meets a girl, the boy falls in love with the girl, the boy hides a secret from the girl that could ruin his chances with her, the girl falls in love with the boy, the girl finds out about the secret the boy is hiding and abandons him, the boy apologizes to the girl, the boy marries the girl.
It’s almost always the same template for all the RomComs, with the primary changes that differentiate the good ones from the bad ones being the punchlines of the boy’s wingman and the girl’s best friend, and how creative – and emotional – the boy’s apology at the end is. But this is not the case with Away We Go.
Arguably, it is the most underrated film of Sam Mendes (award-winning director of Skyfall, Road to Perdition, and Revolutionary Road). Away We Go (2009) stars John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) as Burt and Verona: a long-time struggling unmarried couple who are expecting their first baby as they forcefully embark on a long tiresome journey across the United States to visit their friends, colleagues, and families in a quest to find the best place to settle in and start their family.
There are many reasons why this movie is ranked as a good offbeat romance comedy; here we discuss them:
1- The Established Relationship:
Starting from the same point where most of the other similar movies actually end, Away We Go tackles the more serious – and the often scary – other parts of all the love stories that come after the joyful wedding party or the departing-into-the-sunset-while-the-screen-fades-to-black scenes. This new perspective, along with the way the two main protagonists handle their own differences and issues will make you root for and relate to them.
2- The Side Stories:
On their relentless journey, the couple comes across multiple cities, and multiple established homes of their own friends, colleagues and even siblings. The encounters give them a chance – sometimes unwillingly – to reflect on their own priorities, dreams, needs, and differences as we watch them change from being impressed by their friends’ lives to deciding to move to the next city when they take a closer look and learn that not everything is as it seems.
3- The Lighthearted Comedy:
Away We Go is not that type of comedy that would leave you holding your stomach and rolling on the floor with laughter. In other words, it is not the type of comedy that is based mainly on random situations and creative insults (Not that there is anything wrong with this type of comedy). The comedy here expresses itself through the nature of the characters we encounter and how their normal conversations flow. It is quite guaranteed, however, that you will have a happy smile on your face when the movie ends.
4- The main characters:
Good movies need good characters, and good characters need to be realistic. The characters of Burt and Verona are not ideal or perfect; as a matter of fact, they are not even close. There are moments in the movie where you would feel that they both are a bit too arrogant or condescending – partially because of the freaky nature of most of the people they encounter on their quest, but you will root for them nevertheless.
On the other hand, they both do not have a lot of emotion-packed scenes and quotes in the movie – except for one good scene near the end where they exchange vows on how they are going to raise their daughter – as it is already established that “do they love each other or not?” is not the big question that we should be really concerned about.
5- The Soundtrack:
This reason is quite personal and it might be just me, but the fact that the movie’s score is composed mainly of Alexi Murdoch’s songs is one of the reasons why Away We Go is my favorite RomCom and one of my all-time favorite movies. You might be not familiar with the singer’s name, but if you are into calm, soft music that could soothe you and set your mind adrift, then I suggest you take a couple of minutes to listen to his songs, starting with this one that plays in the ending scene of the movie:
If you are looking for a light-yet-remarkable RomCom to watch during the weekend, then Away We Go is certainly what you are looking for.
What is your favorite Romance Comedy movie? Share with us your reviews in the comments and what makes them your favorites.