A feature film now in theaters tells the story of children devastated by divorce and the story of middle-aged adolescents living almost exclusively for themselves.
The Way Way Back is the story of teen-age Duncan, who spends part of a summer at a beach house with his mother Pam, her boyfriend Trent and her boyfriend’s snotty and obviously wounded teenage daughter.
Duncan is morose, deeply depressed by the situation he finds himself in. Trent bullies him. He demands that Duncan rate himself between one and ten. Humiliated, Duncan finally mumbles “six.” “No, you’re a three,” says Trent. And that’s the remarkable opening scene as they drive to the beach.
The woman at the beach house next door is also divorced and most of the time drunk. Her hyper-sexualized daughter is also morose. Another couple enters the scene, long time friends; they all seem to have been going to this beach resort in Massachusetts their whole lives.