Submarine (2010)

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Submarine is a 2010 British coming of age comedy drama film directed by Richard Ayoade and based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. It stars Craig Roberts, Yasmin Page, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins.

Unpopular Oliver Tate (Roberts) is a fifteen year old boy that is completely smitten with his classmate Jordana Bevan (Page). He wants to win her heart and lose his virginity before his sixteenth birthday. Their relationship grows, after they finally have sex in the bedroom of Oliver’s parents while they are out.

Oliver becomes concerned about his parents at home, because his father Lloyd (Taylor) is depressed and Graham, a mystic and Oliver’s mother Jill’s (Hawkins) ex-boyfriend moves in next door and his flirtatious nature makes Oliver suspicious.

Oliver learns that Jordana’s mother has a potentially fatal brain tumor. After witnessing Jordana’s father break down at a Christmas dinner at her house, he decides to cut his relationship with her off, because he believes that the emotional events surrounding her will “make her gooey in the middle.”

Searching for his mother on the beach, he sees Jordana with another boy. Heartbroken he walks home; on the way, he spots his mother and Graham together, which enrages him. He breaks into Graham’s house, gets, drunk and destroys it. When Graham gets home, he finds Oliver passed out and takes him home without much complaint.

Oliver, heartbroken over the loss of Jordana, goes to the beach after weeks of deep depression, only to find her there.

This is not your typical teen indie film. It is much different. It is uniquely strange and funny at times, but also sad and heartwarming as well. This is so cleverly written and directed. It is not your ordinary teen independent film, it is different and a bit dark at times, unlike more popular flicks like Juno and The Breakfast Club. There is so much more emotional as well. It shows the life two odd teenagers that despite their issues, find they have much in common and fall in love.

This film is so smart in the ways of comedy, drama and romance. It is filled with quick-witted humor mixed with deeply emotional problems and works very well. Although rated R, there are things in this film that both teenagers and adults alike can relate to like, love, bullying, illness, cheating, depression and relationship issues.

Even though this film is a bit slow throughout most of it, it is still exceptional. Craig Roberts is superb as Oliver Tate, Yasmin Page is great as well as Jordana Bevan. Sally Hawkins does a fine job as Oliver’s mother Jill and Noah Taylor does good, not great as his father Lloyd. Paddy Considine is only okay as Graham Purvis, he could have done better.

This is one of the best teen movies I’ve ever seen. A bit dark? Yes. A bit emotional? Yes. A bit funny? Also yes. There is just the right amount of all of those things that make it truly exceptional. This film does deal with many tough issues and some may find them all to be a bit much, and sure all of that could have been toned down, but to me, it makes it even better. Yes, this movie could have also been a bit lighter, but Ayoade was going by Dunthorne’s book.

The film is quite a bit different from the book, not sure whether that’s a good thing or not, but I like, I mean love them both equally. 18+ 4.5/5

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