When I was 16, I watched a movie called Hackers that starred a young Angelina Jolie and her first husband, Jonny Lee Miller, as rogue computer geniuses who must save the world from a deadly virus threatening to take over cyberspace. While not a rogue computer genius myself, something about the spirit of the movie resonated with me. It managed to capture the energy of what it was like to be an angsty teenager in the mid-90s as we were just starting to imagine how this strange thing called the World Wide Web would affect our lives. Already aware of my own fleeting youth, I remember thinking at the time, I hope there never comes a day when I don't get this movie.
I thought of Hackers while watching Away We Go because, once again, a movie seemed to have my number in a way related very much to my age at a particular time in history. Away We Go tells the story of Burt (The Office's John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph, formerly of SNL), an unmarried couple in their early 30s for whom an unexpected pregnancy forces the issue of where they should make a home. Their search captures the zeitgeist of this moment for so many young people made rootless by common features of modern life—nomadic living, fractured families, endless options for almost every aspect of life—who feel they are starting from scratch as they attempt to root their adult lives. Still aware of my own fleeting youth, I thought, I get this movie.
When we meet Burt and Verona, they are living in a ramshackle house that has, as anyone who has seen the trailer will know, a cardboard window. One assumes this location was chosen for the cheap rent, though the need for the cheap rent becomes less clear as the movie bumps on and it appears both people have jobs ...1