I am just returned from The Way Way Back, which you can see for one more night at Trinity Cinestudio. It’s utterly likable, and it’s also the third consecutive recent release I’ve watched about kids getting a raw deal from their heedless parents. TWWB is about a boy, trapped in the miserable DMZ of 14 and shackled to his mother and her inappropriate, belittling, moral-shortcut-taking boyfriend. The film so nails the sense of claustrophobia of a young man trapped at a beach house with boozing, partying, nauseatingly merry grown-ups that it almost has to be based on somebody’s experience.
Last weekend in NYC I saw “Short Term 12,” set in a care facility for broken tweens and teenagers. It’s actually a move with heart and humor and moments of exhilaration, but it’s also unambiguous about who the villains are: a generation of uncaring and almost invisible parents.
And this week I saw “In a World,” which is mainly a comedy about voice-over artists but whose tension arises from a father so narcissistic (and so into his young new wife) that his daughters are nearly invisible to him — except when he’s actively thwarting their efforts.
Could be a coincidence, but it feels like a judgment by Gen X auteurs hitting their stride.