Sam Mendes' version of a date movie

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
LOS ANGELES Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") directs John Krasinski ("The Office") and Maya Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live") in "Away We Go." They play newly expectant parents who plan a cross-country trek to visit family and friends while trying to find the perfect place to settle down and raise their family.

"They're like re-assessing their lives and about to embark on becoming parents, and asking themselves what that means, what 'home' is to them," Rudolph told George.

Krasinski says the story was a pure romance about people meant to - and happy to - be together.

"Call it the purist in me, but I found it really encouraging," Krasinski said. "I believe love exists like that, so it was nice to play it."

Mendes is coming off last year's much more serious drama, "Revolutionary Road." In that movie, the couple played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were miserably unhappy with their lives. Mendes gives "Away We Go" a lighter touch.

"I love the weird combination of romantic comedy and road movie," said Mendes. "It feels like a shaggy dog story to begin with, just a very funny eccentric journey. And gradually you realize it's about something important, which is the search for a 'home,' what constitutes family."

With Mendes' track record as a director, Krasinski didn't have to think twice about playing this role.

"When you have someone like Sam Mendes come on the project, it becomes surreal and perfect," said Krasinski. "So when he asked me to do it, I think I passed out for about three hours. So it's a real honor to do it."

"Away We Go" is rated R and is in theaters Friday.

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