Go see this film. It’s heart-warming and thought provoking.
Duncan, Liam James, is the engaging 14 year old who anchors the other characters to the story line. He’s more grown up than the adults in his life.
Steve Carell, who has played a caring yet distressed parent in ‘Dan in Real Life’ and ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’, gives a superb performance as Trent, the jerk dating Duncan’s Mom.
Toni Colette is Pam, Duncan’s vulnerable and compromising Mom, whose hope blinds her to the truth that’s staring her in the face. That truth also brings her into conflict with Duncan who can’t stand Trent and resents his treatment of Pam.
The cast is perfection with Allison Janney as Betty the ditsy neighbor who is never without a drink in her hands or a problem with one of her kids.
Amanda Peet plays the seductive Joan who sees something desireable in Trent.
Sam Rockwell plays Owen, the manager of Water Wizz and Duncan’s savior. And of course, Duncan finds a kindred spirit in Betty’s daughter Susanna played by the beautiful AnnaSophia Robb. She too knows the special kind of grief and chaos kids suffer in divorce and she becomes for Duncan both friend and sounding board.
Water Wizz Park rescues Duncan. He finds a place to hide away from the crazy destructive relationships among the adults in his life while finding employment and real friendship at the water park. The movie is funny. The crew at the park are wacky and off-beat. The situations are every teenager’s nightmare and Rockwell finds just the right mix of Bill Murray & Jimmy Fallon to make you love him as Owen. The director even managed to make this film convey the feel of the vacation locale. The Summer Season in a small Northeastern coastal town; by the end of the movie the location itself seems like a member of the cast.
This movie reminded me that the life choices we make don’t occur in a vacuum.
They usually have an impact on others in our lives.
I don’t know what other choices you’re facing, but you won’t be sorry about choosing this movie.
Just don’t eat a giant bag of popcorn, I did and I’m still regretting my choice.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Critics 90% Audiences