I've seen a lot of films this year. Blockbusters, dramas, comedies. But while I thrilled as Logan clashed with a giant android in The Wolverine; marvelled at giant robots and their pilots in Pacific Rim, and smiled at the heroes of Kick-Ass 2, I didn't empathise with any of them.
It's a study in awkwardness, and that gaping hole in a lonely teenager's life desperate to be filled by friends, if not family.
Any teen whose family has been wrecked by divorce should empathise with that huge void caused by a missing dad, brother or both. Basically it sucks, but as a teen it's hard to express how much.
When Duncan crosses paths with laid back, too-cool-for-school water park manager Owen at the local pizza diner, so begins a beautiful friendship.
Dad-free teens dream of having a mate as cool as this.
Part big brother, part surrogate father, Owen is one of the year's most beloved characters.
He has the wit and delivery of Tony Stark, and more than once I thought the sublime Sam Rockwell must be a shoo-in for the part if Robert Downey Jnr either prices himself out of the part or, heaven forbid, retires.
I tired of Rash and Faxon-scripted The Descendants, but here they hit a home run.
The glorious New England backdrops don't hurt a bit either, and by the third act we feel we've breathed the same air as these characters.
Like Life of Pi, The Way, Way Back is that rare film which gets under the skin and lingers for days after.
Some films, like You're Next (which I saw immediately beforehand) aren't worth the price of admission, but for me this made up for it.
It may not have had the tent pole budget of Iron Man 3 or Star Trek Into Darkness, but this mines a richer seam of humour and drama that should touch a chord with teens and forty somethings alike.