Archive for Dave Eggers

Away We Go

Posted in film with tags , , , , on February 26, 2010 by sparrowriot


In Away We Go, Burt and Verona, who are expecting their first child, take a trip to visit friends and family in different places in order to find the right community in which to settle. The film was about steering clear of false security, exploring a sense of homelessness (while searching for the right home), and about searching for the recipe for creating a healthy and abundant family. It was about being alone, together.  The couple had each other and their baby to be, but nothing else in the world really knew them or understood them. The film,  in general, stayed clear of sentimentality and quick fixes, recognizing the universal desire to find one’s own ‘people’, and often the failure or inability to find them. The whole movie was based, again, on the idea of attempting to navigate through false security and finding a home, a sense of hearth, which seemed would never pan out locationally or geographically, though it became clearer and clearer that the couple’s home was in each other and that they had a genuinely loving and healthy union. This was made clearer and clearer by the contrast of Burt and Verona with the people they visited on their journey. The pathos in the film was so beautiful that it raised the two main characters up as archetypes of young lovers in our era.

There were no perfect moments, perfect places, or perfect people until the very end, when it became a fairy tale.  Instead of being heart warming, the ending left me with a sunken feeling of artfulness.  It was as if it was a true story until the last scene when they returned to Verona’s childhood home. Suddenly, the problem was visibly solved.  The couple walked through the home to the doors opening to the ocean, where they sat on the deck. They had obviously finished their journey. Suddenly: “Oh yeah, we can live in my deceased parents beautiful house on the ocean on our beautiful estate. It was here all the time, an actual piece of super valuable real estate.  I wonder why we’ve been living in a shack in the Midwest with cardboard windows Let’s live in this house. Now that the movie is over I can visibly begin to heal from my parents death and go back to where I grew up.”

Of course, this is a very personal take on the ending. One can also see it as Verona finally coming home and facing a path toward healing from the grief of her parents death. The young couple replace the parents. The cycle of life all that it entails is wrapped up in the scene of homecoming.

It’s a heartwarming ending, free and clear, but at the same time, to me,  it undercuts the potency of the message of the home they had in their love for each other as well as reinforcing false perceptions that most people have that if you have a physical home, you have abundance. It almost belies its own intentions and turns away from the audience that can relate to the couple; an audience that may not have a secret house.  I wanted the movie to portray an idea that there is hope, even if you don’t have a community and even if you have no means, together you make a gorgeous universe, and that the homelessness is not homelessness, rather, simply a lack of property—a journey. If there was to be any glossy ending, it should have been, I think,  about finding actual people to increase their love. I liked the movie a lot and recommend it, but the authenticity which prevailed throughout was forfeited in order to tidy up and end the film.