I know it sounds slightly formulaic. It’s a road trip movie without a car. A central character who has his outlook changed by the satellite characters surrounding him. It’s been done before.
And I still like it.
A small confession, before I continue. I love Martin Sheen. He could read the iTunes store terms and conditions and I would be riveted. I was excited for The Way from jump street because it was a movie “starring” Martin Sheen. He wasn’t a briefly seen police captain, or a kindly uncle who appears in act three to explain the witch’s curse. It was going to be all Martin all the time, like watching my imaginary grandpa have an adventure.
What I really enjoyed about The Way was the simplicity of it. It’s just a guy, and some other people who may or may not become friends, and they’re walking. That’s it. There are conversations, and laughs and sad faces, but the goal of all of these characters is to walk down the road.
With the beautiful scenery and the melancholic nature of the characters, it kind of feels like a Lasse Halstrom movie: Under the Tuscan Sun, but nobody is looking to hook up with Diane Lane.
Like every movie that “teaches” us that “Life is the Journey,” The Way can be a little heavy handed at times. I forgive it that. It is, after all, kind of a greeting card of a movie. Picturesque landscapes and mildly flowery sentiments. I like greeting cards, I feel they have their place in the world.
It’s a nice film, and that’s the best way to describe it, nice. The film is warmhearted, and kind, not dangerous in any way. The kind of thing you’d watch with your significant other’s parents, nothing to really offend anyone.
If you’re looking for an intense drama, skip this and get Martha Marcy May Marlene instead. But if you’re looking for nice, look no further than Mr. Martin Sheen. - [DVD] [Blu-Ray]