Finally, here is my own reason for liking the film (and including it in the season, of course).
Among all the films considered by this selection, Away we go is perhaps the most explicit in thematising the journey as a metaphor for a generational effort to re-assess their place in the world. Disappointed by the selfish behaviour of Burt’s parents, the young couple put themselves on the road out of responsibility, as it were, towards their unborn child.
The initial hints to their professional failures take on a broader symbolic meaning: these characters did not ‘make it’ in the real world because, essentially, they do not believe in the world-view that has been passed on to them. They perceive a lack of something in it, which they refuse to accept as their own. Disappointed and betrayed by the values of their parents, the characters set out to look for a new identity and a new ‘happiness’.
With a circular gesture, however, Away We Go discards the various options the two find on their way, and ultimately suggests a return to an idyllic ‘American’ past. But there again, idyllic rhymes with fairy-like, essentially unreal. I might be stretching things a bit, but I do not see much of a difference between McCandleless’ retreat into the wilderness and this couple’s journey. In both cases, these characters end up escaping from ‘grown-up’ social and historical reality, to seek refuge in some sort of mythological ‘beyond’.