'Away We Go'


For the second time in the past six months, director Sam Mendes has come out with a film probing the anatomy of a relationship.

But "Away We Go," starring "Saturday Night Live" alum Maya Rudolph and "The Office" regular John Krasinski as an expectant young couple grappling with where to put down roots, shares little else in common with "Revolutionary Road." The former has a much airier vibe in contrast to the claustrophobia of the latter.

Despite the lightness of tone and lively turns by the likes of Allison Janney, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Catherine O'Hara, the soul-searching trip is not without the occasional bump in the road.

A first-time feature collaboration between novelists Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, "Away We Go" traces the geographical/spiritual journey undertaken by the pregnant Verona (Rudolph) and goofy Burt (Krasinski), who are trying to determine the best place to call home after his folks (O'Hara and Jeff Daniels) leave Colorado for Belgium.

Among the stops on the itinerary are Phoenix, Tucson and Wisconsin. Each destination offers a snapshot of the challenges of carving out a family unit, but though it's nice to see Mendes take a looser approach to his filmmaking, some stops along the way feel dramatically off course. (partialdiff)