Away We Go

John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph winningly portray a committed but unmoored couple in their mid-30s whose surprise pregnancy prompts a roaming study of friends’ and relations’ domestic scenes — with the implied goal of figuring out where and how to stage their own. Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida’s script shows off the beloved literary couple’s cerebral wit, practiced compassion, and common urge to eschew sentimentality in favor of deep feeling. It’s almost funny and cozy enough to wean director Sam Mendes from his reflexive condescension toward American suburbia (see American Beauty, Revolutionary Road). But the sketch-like scenario can’t help but seem dramatically stilted, just as the protagonists, however ostensibly diffident, can’t help but seem smugly superior to their dotty supporting players (including Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Allison Janney). Nor does Alexi Murdoch’s alt-rock mood music quite dispel our weary resignation to just another poignantly comic indie family drama.