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Charming coming-of-age tale 'The Way, Way Back' overcomes predictable format

From left, Zoe Levin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Liam James star in “The Way, Way Back.”
Photographer: Fox Searchlight Pictures
From left, Zoe Levin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell and Liam James star in “The Way, Way Back.”
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There’s something inherently formulaic about summer coming-of-age movies. A quirky, awkward and misunderstood kid takes a summer off from regular life and finds a way — at the beach or by the pool — to, well, come of age, often with the help of an equally quirky adult. Summer ends. Life is changed. And that’s precisely what happens in “The Way, Way Back,” featuring an expert cast led by Steve Carell, Toni Collette and the ...

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