Don’t get tired of indie movies just yet because there’s still at least one left this year.
Burt and Verona are in their mid-thirties and haven’t a care in the world until they (well, Verona) unexpectedly become pregnant.
But unlike other movies with the same concept, it isn’t a huge problem. When Burt’s parents suddenly announce that they’re going off to live in Belgium, they decide to travel across the US in order to be close to friends and to find out what kind of parents they will be.
Don’t be afraid of this movie. It may be indie, it may be a romcom, but it’s unique: the couple in it don’t just like each each other but are genuinely in love.
There’s also no abortion debates to be had and they’re not about to separate from the pressure. I’m telling you this going in because this is the film’s defining feature that, not only makes it stand out from the crowd, but makes you love every inch of this movie.
Burt and Verona’s journey across America takes us to visit scene-stealing actors and a variety of parenting styles. Professional scene-stealer, Allison Janney, is hysterical as Lily, the loudmouth friend who likes to parent her children with humiliation.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is a total screen gem as Earth mother LN. Yeah, that’s actually her name. Her parenting style includes not using prams because “I love my babies, why would I want to push them away?”
She also shares a bed with her husband and all of her children. Everyone’s got to have something to tell their therapists.
Melanie Lynskey is brutally underused as the fertility challenged Munch who, though and her husband are adoptive parents, continues to have miscarriages.
Their stories are genuine and touching but also hilarious and heartbreaking all at once.
Director Sam Mendes, AKA Mr. Winslet, is usually found making classy Hollywood Oscar bait but steps easily out of his comfort zone here. Though the ending suffers from underdevelopment (playing a song louder doesn’t equal drama, Mr. Mendes) the film on the whole is a breath of fresh air.
Mendes also manages to make America look like a playground again; almost undiscovered and ready to be explored again. The blend of road movie and romcom is effortless and adds a new dimension to something that could have been very flat in lesser hands.
It’s also held up beautifully by the leads, Maya Rudolph (SNL) and John Krasinski (The Office US). Their chemistry is great and their relationship is utterly believable; easily one of my favourite movie couples. While they’ve dabbled in movies before, this will be their big break.
Rudolph’s damaged but semi-repaired Verona is the saner of the two but has her own, dare I say, quirks. Krasinski is the dorky, average guy with a big heart who’s the comedic half of the pair.
Don’t let the trailer fool you, it’s really funny. Go see this movie when you’re having a really rubbish day because it’ll get a million times better once you’ve seen this.
For more indie romcom goodness, check out Adventureland (a surprisingly tender movie from the director of Superbad) or the Indie romcom of the decade (yes we’re as bold to say it), (500) Days Of Summer….