The first original screenplay by hipster lit-world phenom Dave Eggers is, much like his 2001 memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a lot of long-winded talk about not very much. The black hole that is Eggers' navel here takes the form of Burt (John Krasinski), a 33-year-old salesman with a pregnant girlfriend, Verona (Maya Rudolph), and a lot of uncertainty about his station in life. As Away We Go opens, Burt and Verona have put down tenuous roots in Colorado to be close to his parents (Jeff Daniels and Catherine O'Hara). Then the folks announce that—surprise!—they're moving to Europe, and our young parents-to-be take to the highway in turn, searching for a more meaningful existence, visiting friends and relatives in far-flung locales, and vicariously trying their lives on for size. Sam Mendes directed Away We Go during a post-production furlough from Revolutionary Road, and, like that film, this one offers a portrait of a (generally happier) young couple trying to find their place in the world. But whereas the Wheelers of Revolutionary Road had grand designs for themselves, the road-trippers of Away We Go harbor no discernible ambitions whatsoever, which may make them true to Gen-Y life, but also renders them fatally uninteresting. For all the ground they cover geographically, dramatically their velocity remains zero.
Cute cant save Krasinski and Rudolph.
Opens at Pacific Place, Fri., June 12. Rated R. 94 minutes.