“Are we f— ups?”

Away We Go is an episodic dramedy about a couple, Burt Farlander (John Krasinski, The Office) and Verona De Tessant (Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live), on the verge of parenthood, drifting through life in a search for a place to call home. It’s half a road movie as they are on a journey of family. They leave their rural Colorado home (where his parents live) in a quest for the best place to begin their family. So they travel to cities where they have anything resembling a connection, from Phoenix to Tucson to Montreal to Miami, encountering different shades of domestic hell. For a couple of self-described f-ups, they certainly have enough money to travel quite a bit.

Krasinski plays a variation of his character from The Office and Rudolph brings a considerable measure of charm as they bring their characters to life. They are the normal painted against the backdrop of characters filling out portraits of bad marriages, worse parenting, and fractured adulthood. If these characters were my example of marital and familial bliss, I’d swear off getting married, too.

“We are completely untethered, Burt.” –Verona

They are completely uprooted as people, starting with their own immaturity. They “don’t even have the basic things figured out, like how to live.” They want to be taken seriously as adults yet are trying to figure out how to be adults. They and their circle are twenty/thirty something teenagers, people who are emotionally in their teens but in big people’s bodies. Who carry their high school attitudes and personas long into adulthood. Who wait longer to grow up, get through school, move out, become independent. Who drift through life, unfocused, going from job to job, without a care or responsibility in the world. With no character defining rite of passage, they find themselves ready to bring a child into the world and making a family.

“I hate that attitude: everything’s already broken so let’s just keep breaking them again and again.” –Verona

Yet, they also aren’t as far behind as they think they are. They wrestle with their expectations and dreams for kids. They seriously think through the relationships in their lives (and who they want to model themselves after) and give serious consideration to the voices they want to not only speak into their lives, but also their child’s life. Yes, many of their surrounding relationships are broken and they are well aware of how their parents define them. But they recognize the patterns and which cycles need to be broken.

Despite being “stunted, confused, immature”, they know that what binds it all together—the glue, the mortar, the syrup of relationships—is love. It’s what binds us as people, as families, and what makes a home. As well as the patience required, as we have to be willing to make the family out of whatever you have.

“It’s like God’s trying to melt us down to make something better.” –Burt

Away We Go won’t go over well with the strictly Family Values set, as Verona refuses to consider getting married. It has a Sideways/strong indie film vibe to it. Both sweet and funny—surprisingly funny—it also has a realness and rawness to it. The characters tread that line of being eccentric without being over the top. It is a celebration of family, the true value and meaning of family, though in an untraditional manner, and is a pleasant journey for the audience to take.