A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time.
Away We Go is a 2009 comedy-drama directed by Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes and written by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film stars John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Paul Schneider, Carmen Ejogo, Chris Messina, Melanie Lynskey, Josh Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
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Verona De Tessant (Maya Rudolph) and Burt Farlander (John Krasinski) are in their early thirties and struggling to meet daily needs and build fulfilling lives as an anatomy artist and a salesman of insurance futures, respectively. When they learn they will soon become parents, they are confronted with the challenge of how - and where - to raise a child and build a happy family.
Six months into Verona's pregnancy, she and Burt visit their only family in the area, Burt's parents, Gloria and Jerry (Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels), only to find that they have decided to move to Antwerp, Belgium, for two years a month before the baby is due to be born. Frustrated at Burt's parents' selfishness and ill-thinking, he and Verona see this as an opportunity to find somewhere else to raise their family.
They first visit Phoenix, Arizona, meeting up with Verona's old boss, Lily (Allison Janney), her husband, Lowell (Jim Gaffigan), and their two children. Burt in particular is disturbed by Lily and Lowell's crass and mean-spirited behavior toward one another and their children.
Burt and Verona next visit Verona's sister, Grace (Carmen Ejogo), in Tucson. At Verona's request, Burt tries to persuade Grace to stay with her boring boyfriend. When Burt takes a call and displays his trademark humor, Grace tells Verona that she is lucky to have him and Verona agrees. While shopping, Grace tries to get Verona to talk about their deceased parents.
On their way to Wisconsin, they are told they cannot fly by airline employees who believe Verona is in her eighth month. The couple insists that she is only six months in but ultimately take a train. In Madison, Wisconsin, the couple visits Burt's childhood friend and pseudo-cousin, "LN" (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a college professor with inherited money and radical views about parenting. Burt and Verona bring a stroller as a gift, greatly angering LN as she and her husband Roderick (Josh Hamilton) are a "continuum home." When Roderick's condescension and LN's backhanded compliments to Verona get to be too much for Burt, he tells them they are horrible people and he and Verona leave but not before letting their kid take a ride in the stroller, which he enjoys.
Burt and Verona then visit old college friends in Montreal, Tom (Chris Messina) and his wife, Munch Garnett (Melanie Lynskey), and their diverse family of adopted children. Verona and Burt are happy to have found a loving family and a nice town and decide to move to Montreal. After dinner they wind up at a bar during "amateur dance night" in which Munch is an active participant. During Munch's performance, Tom confesses to Burt that Munch has recently suffered her fifth miscarriage and that they seem unable to have their own children. Verona has also picked up clues over the night and shares a knowing glance with Burt as Munch and Tom embrace.
In the morning, Burt receives an emergency call from his brother, Courtney (Paul Schneider), in Miami, whose wife has left him. Burt and Verona fly to Miami, where Courtney worries about his young daughter and the potential effects of a divorce on her. Burt tries to comfort Courtney while Verona spends time with his daughter. Burt and Verona spend the night outside on a trampoline, promising to love each other and their daughter and have a happy home.
The next day, Verona tells Burt a story about her childhood and her parents. Moved by her memory, they decide to settle in Verona's old family home. Realizing
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