"Away We Go" reps a digression into loose, anecdotal Amerindie-style terrain after helmer Sam Mendes' starrier, more high-stakes screen projects. But this episodic dramedy -- starring tube familiars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a rudderless couple seeking a place to call home while on the brink of parenthood -- emerges as an oddly sour, unappealing road-trip scenario. Penned by first-time scribes, alt-lit favorites and real-life spouses Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, pic will likely find some defenders, particularly among the authors' fans. Still, its theatrical career launching June 5 looks to be short, with ancillary prospects modest.
Burt (Krasinski of NBC's "The Office") and Verona ("Saturday Night Live's" Rudolph) are expecting their first child in rural Colorado, a habitat chosen for his parents' proximity. (Hers died in an accident years earlier.) But blithe, self-absorbed Jerry (Jeff Daniels) and Gloria (Catherine O'Hara) suddenly announce they're whimsically moving to Belgium -- no matter that they'll miss their grandchild's birth.
This prompts the younger pair, having no friends, no job obligations (both are long-distance freelancers), to pack up and look for somewhere more suitable to live. They embark on a complicated flight itinerary to see old pals and explore potential new nesting places.
First stop is Phoenix, to see Verona's former co-worker Lily (Allison Janney), husband Lowell (Jim Gaffigan) and their two children. But Lily has turned into such a vulgar, abusive gorgon that spouse and kids have retreated into gloomy withdrawal.
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