Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grown-Up or Out-Grown?

There is an indictment laced with trepidation attached to the Dave Eggers scripted "Away We Go". Where his nuance and spectacle may lend itself perfectly to the script for Where The Wild Things Are, his script for this Apatow-esque scenario risks being over-egged (sorry). The brilliance, often in the literal sense, of his writing, loses it's sparkle when rendered in front of us. In his confidently layered books scenes are built and timed perfectly, each element revealed to have been part of a constant stream of expectation and punchline. With description taken away from him, Eggers is forced to cut to the chase, leaving the script feeling like a slightly desperate series of leaps from gag to gag, with none of the intermediate craft.
The subject matter too- a comfortably hip indie pair facing pregnancy, surrounded by witty and diverse friends and a road trip thrown in between- hardly instills confidence. A patchwork of indie blockbuster plots of the past Apatow/Rogen indie-not-indie resurgence make this seem like a clumsy Juno for grown-ups. Rather like wrapping the Harry Potter books in adult covers, this seems essentially unnecessary, as do the over-familiar cartoon graphics used for the promotional material. Maybe there's another side; to have reached production certain sacrifices are essential, and if marketing it as the new Juno is what it takes to get people into theatres, so be it, though it's a lazy tactic to stomach.
The trailer gives fuel to both fires- only the film itself will reveal how Eggers and Mendes' work has taken shape; here's hoping subtlety prevailed.

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