Away We Go Tells a Timeless Tale About Family

Sam Mendes’ comic journey about finding home.

On June 5, 2009, Sam Mendes’ Away We Go opened in cinemas. The tale of a young couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) searching for the right city in which to raise their soon-to-be-born child brought together an extraordinary team of talent. Written by acclaimed novelists and married couple Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida and directed by an Academy Award®-winning director, the film brings together a spectacular comic cast that includes—in addition to Rudolph and Krasinski—Jeff Daniels, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Josh Hamilton, Allison Janney, Melanie Lynskey, Chris Messina, and Catherine O'Hara. After 15 years the film’s comedy still hits home, but so too does its deeply moving tale of trying to find one. The Spool recently wrote the film’s journey of “two people, flawed but recognizable, working through the sorts of issues every future parent deals with…embraces something timeless, poignant, and true.”

Watch Away We Go now on Apple TV and Amazon!

The official trailer for Away We Go

The story started simply enough. Vida tells the AV Club that the film’s premise came from how she would come “home every day from my going out into the world, and tell Dave about situations I’d run into as a pregnant lady.” Her hilarious anecdotes eventually evolved into scenes which then turned into a film script. Mendes loves how the screenplay used the road movie genre to describe the experience of starting a family. “There’s no crisis in their relationship like there would be in a classic romantic comedy,” Mendes tells The Hollywood Interview. “The movie is about what they see, and what they learn.”

Allison Janney and Maya Rudolph in Away We Go

As they visit friends and family in Phoenix, Tucson, Madison, Toronto, and Miami, what they see are the passions and pitfalls of parenting. “Some of the episodes are ripely satirical, others almost heartbreaking,” writes The New Yorker. While the antics of the supporting cast keep us laughing, we almost miss the real story. TV Guide writes, “Everything about the movie—from Ellen Kuras' beautiful, understated cinematography to the subtle, engrossing lead performances by Krasinski and Rudolph—is designed to sneak up on you emotionally, leaving you deeply touched, even though you'll never see it coming.” As the two journey to find a home, the AV Club writes, the film “shifts into a subtler, more enriching study of parenthood—its joys, its surprises, and the sheer heartbreaking fragility of the whole enterprise.”