Preview: Away We Go

Ever wonder...

If Maya Rudolph's Saturday Night Live retirement meant she'd vanish forever? How director Sam Mendes planned to follow up Revolutionary Road? If The Office's John Krasinski would rally again after Leatherheads and License to Wed to finally star in a truly funny, or at least good, film? Why Catherine O'Hara (formerly of SCTV) never seems to age? If your friends' child-rearing nightmares could become your own?

Phew...

Well, all ... OK, many ... well, at least some of these questions will be answered by the Mendes indie flick slated for release this June, Away We Go. Perhaps you've seen the theatrical trailer hinting at a heartwarming, quirky, hilarious feel-good, growing-up-is-hard-to-do (in your 30s) film. The journey of Burt and Verona, a dazed and confused, home-with-cardboard-windows couple about to have a baby.

Burt's parents sudden decision to leave Colorado eliminates the pair's reason for living there and spurs a 'round the country road trip to find a place near those they love, to raise their child. Along the way they visit/evaluate friends with kids and witness the horrors of raising offspring and various child-rearing techniques. But everything will be fine, at least according to the soft, rambling, folk guitar of Scottish singer-songwriter Alexi Murdoch that serenades throughout the trailer (and, we expect, the film soundtrack).



The screenwriting partnership marks the debut of married couple Vendela Vida and Dave Eggers (Eggers recently adapted Where the Wild Things Are for the upcoming movie), and Away We Go's cast, along with the aforementioned stars, includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Juno's Allison Janney, and Jeff Daniels.

Add up all the ingredients and Away We Go has the potential for greatness, or at least cult classic-ness. Or it could be another dull ride. Though with Mendes in the mix hopes are high (well, mine are). I'm definitely willing to take a spin and see.

Eco-trivia: A Big Beach Films production, Away We Go filmmakers not only did their best to reduce their cinematic carbon footprint, they documented their initiatives in the report "Away We Go: A Pilot Study of Sustainable Film Production Practices." Verified by scientists at TerraChoice Environmental of Ottawa, Canada, environmental achievements included dining with corn and sugar-based utensils, eliminating plastic water bottles, consolidating shooting locations, and using hybrid transportation.

Hopefully this heralds the dawn of a new kind of Hollywood green.