Execution: That's really all that matters, even when the concept sounds like something you've seen at Sundance a hundred times before. And co-writers/co-directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash make their concept terrifically funny in this story of 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James), suffering through a miserable summer vacation to a New England beach with his divorced mother (Toni Collette) and mom's boyfriend (Steve Carell). Plenty of the coming-of-age beats are familiar stuff, from the cute girl at the beach house next door (AnnaSophia Robb) to the alternate father figure (Sam Rockwell, as the free-spirited manager of the local water park) to the youthful epiphanies about the fallibility of the adults in their lives. It's just flat-out hilarious virtually from start to finish, anchored by a predictably terrific Rockwell and a just-as-predictably terrific Allison Janney (as the mother of Duncan's crush). Sure, people learn Very Important Life Lessons, and Life Was Never the Same After That Summer. But it's entirely possible you'll be laughing so hard that the only lesson you'll really care about after that summer is how to make an ensemble comedy that just plain kills it. (Scott Renshaw)
- Genres: comedy
- Running Time: 96 min.
- Release Date: Monday, January 21,2013
- MPAA Rating: NR
- Directed by: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
- Watch the trailer