I was fortunate enough earlier this week to have seen the great new coming-of-age comedy from the filmmaking team of Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, who won Oscars last year (along with Alexander Payne) for their adaptation of THE DESCENDANTS. Rash and Faxon co-wrote, co-directed and have supporting parts in THE WAY, WAY BACK, an absolutely perfect little movie about an awkward teenage boy (Liam James) who is forced to spend the summer with his mother (Toni Collette) and her horrible new boyfriend (Steve Carell) at the boyfriend's summer house.
To escape being with them, he gets a job at the local water park, run by an unscrupulous played by the fantastic Sam Rockwell. The film reminded me in parts of summery films like ADVENTURELAND with Rockwell absolutely channeling MEATBALLS-era Billy Murray. There's a great mixture of teen angst drama and adults behaving badly comedy, and it all comes together beautifully thanks to Rash and Faxon's solid writing and direction.
The film has a tremendous cast, including Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, and the aforementioned Rash and Faxon (playing fellow park employees). You may know Rash best as Dean Pelton on the recently renewed NBC series "Community"; Faxon has had roles in CLUB DREAD, BEERFEST, "Reno 911," HAMLET 2, THE SLAMMIN' SALMON, BAD TEACHER, and most recently on the series "Ben and Kate." THE WAY, WAY BACK doesn't open until July 5, but I've got 100 seats for an upcoming Chicago advance screening, with a post-screening Q&A with Jim Rash and Nat Faxon.
The screening will take place Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30pm (note the slightly earlier start time) at a theater in Chicago (the exact location will only be given to the winners). If you think you might have any difficulty making this time, please do not enter!
To win, send me an email at WayWayChicago@aintitcoolmail.com (please note the new email address) with the subject line "Water Wizz Staff" (exactly like that). In the body of the email, I need your full Name, whether or not you're bringing a Guest (each winner may bring ONE confirmed guest--if I think you gave your +1 to someone trolling for free tickets at the theater, you won't get in), and the answer to the following question: "What is you favorite comedy set in the summertime, and why?" I need an film title and a reason for your choice. Keep your responses BRIEF--no more than 75 words (no matter how tempted you are to go over the limit). Best answers win, and you'll hear from me over the weekend if you won, so check your email!
Because this is not an exclusive Ain't It Cool News event, it is overbooked to guarantee a full house for our guests. Winners' seats will be held until 15 minutes before showtime (meaning 6:15pm), at which time any empty seats in our rows will be given away. So you should arrive early to make sure you get in and get a good seat. If you can't arrive early, don't enter this contest. If there's even the slightest chance you or your guest will have to back out of attending or arrive late if you do win, don't enter. If you have a job that might make you late or unable to attend, or an ill/pregnant relative, or a temperamental significant other, or a scratchy throat, do not enter. And the 24-hour-notice-to-cancel rule is done. If you win and don't show up, the Black List is your new best friend.
Good luck, everyone! And thanks to the Fox Searchlight Pictures for giving us this very cool screening and bringing in these great guests.