Good evening, drinkers!
Tonight we’re taking a little trip with the pseudo-indie film Away We Go and Uinta Brewing’s Detour Double India Pale Ale. After a good day and a fun weekend to which to look forward, sometimes it’s nice to just let your mind wander with a good movie and a good beer. The alcoholic icing to your proverbial cinematic cake. So hop in the car (but don’t drink before you do that, that’s bad) and take a Detour with me for tonight’s review.
The 2009 Sam Mendes “indie” flick Away We Go features a delightfully bearded John Krasinski (The Office) and a delightfully delightful Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) who decide to explore North America in search of the perfect home for their unborn child. Abandoning their yuppie-rustic abode in what I assume must be the Portland area, Burt and Verona visit friends and family all across the United States and, briefly, Montreal. Each family they encounter has its charm and its overstated quirks and/or sorrows. Burt’s parents are grossly self-centered, Verona’s old boss has no control over her tongue, her sister is angrily single, Burt’s “cousin” is disturbingly new wave, their college friends lament their inability to have children (despite their many adorable adopted kids) and Burt’s brother’s wife has abandoned him and their daughter. To look at the world of married life and love through the lens of this film, it’s fairly bleak, which serves to sort of explain Verona’s refusal to marry Burt. However, in their own way, each odd couple Burt and Veron encounter informs them as to the life they want their child to have. The film’s somewhat pessimistic (and often hilarious) view towards conventional coupling serves to reinforce its importance by the film’s conclusion.
Burt and Verona truly love each other. They know exactly what they want their lives to look like without ever knowing the specifics of how to get their. And so despite the film’s at times inconsistent tone (swinging dramatically between heartfelt and absurd and hilarious) and its pointedly indie soundtrack (Alexi Murdoch ftw!), it ends up being a very rewarding and earnest examination of love and parenthood. It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s messy. It’s all the things that are real to us outside of a movie theater. So, much to my surprise, I really liked this film. I could have done without the scattered title cards but beyond that, the film has pretty much everything you want out of a non-Katherine Heigl romcom.
Also, I should point out that this film was co-written by Dave Eggers, who is a great novelist and the founder of McSweeny’s. When you realize this, the movie makes a lot more sense.
And how was our little Detour? Well, like the film, I was pleasantly surprised by this double IPA. Touting a beefy 9.5% ABV, I was expecting this beer to come roaring out of the gate with big, bold IPA flavor. However, to my delight, this coppery beer was smooth and not too boozy. It still had that distinctively bitter, floral aroma and taste of an IPA but without being overwhelming. Compared to some other IPA’s I’ve had, this double IPA was actually less bitter. Anne, of We Recycle Movies, who joined me for this BAAM review, noted that she actually enjoyed this beer more than other IPA’s that I’ve forced her to drink. And while I still don’t think the uninitiated should dive straight into this beer, I do believe that this is not a bad beer to take a sip of it you’re curious about the style.
So I think our road trip was quite the success. The beer was easy to drink, very flavorful and left me a bit tipsy, which is always nice. The movie was heartfelt, earnest, funny and had just enough Hollywood unbelievability to make it a great viewing experience. Truth be told, both the beer and the movie left me with a smile on my face and that’s really what it’s all about.
Until next time, keep drinking my friends!
Oh and a quick note on next week: Friday night marks the beginning of Passover. Being the good Jew that I am, I will not be drinking any beer during the holiday (gasp!). This means that I will not be doing any reviews until after the 14th. Sorry everybody, but duty calls.
Away We Go:
-John Krasinski is so shaggy. But it works.