I LOVED this film, I loved the simplicity of the storyline, I loved the exquisite acting, I loved the amazing actors, I loved the music, and I loved the underlying message of self respect and learning who you truly are. The story line was simple, a semi formed family travels to a small town for the summer in hopes of becoming a closer family while also trying to have a fun time. Steve Carell plays the new boyfriend, Trent, trying to get close to his pseudo step son, he is a horrible character and Steve plays him so well. The son Duncan played by Liam James is a 14 year old who is going through his parents divorce while also trying to figure out how he fits into this new family role while also being subjected to Trent’s constant negative comments towards his looks and attitude. Duncan is quiet, shy and awkward in the beginning but as the film goes on and he befriends some older guys at the local water park he learns that he is stronger than he thinks and by the end of the film is able to finally stand up to Trent (Steve Carell) and his mom. This film has some great heartwarming moments when Duncan finally accepts who he is and becomes confident of himself. Duncan has a slight crush on the girl next door (AnnaSophia Robb) but the story doesn’t focus too much on it which actually helps the film with its importance of family first.
Another reason I loved this film so much is quite simply the awesome cast. Allison Janney is hysterical as always, Maya Rudolph is spectacular, Nat Faxon who wrote and directed this film is quirky and lovable, but my all time favorite actor in this one is hands down Sam Rockwell. He helps young Duncan realize that he is confident, strong, funny and worth everything he deserves, but at the same time Duncan helps Owen (Sam Rockwell) grow up. Owen is an important figure in Duncan’s life at this point in his life and the end result is awesome. Sam Rockwell performs his heart out as the water park worker who doesn’t really work but cares about his job and co workers. There is a part where he does a Footloose speech to a bunch of teenagers which is just priceless and hilarious. Please please please watch this film if you want to be entertained, laugh, maybe tear up a bit and learn a little about self respect and family.