Mini Review: Submarine

Submarine (2010) Movie Still: Roberts, Paige

Chances are that you probably haven’t read Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel Submarine, but you’ve heard about the film based off of it.. at least in a roundabout “hey, that guy from the IT Crowd is making a film, how weird is that?” kind of way. Because though it’s surprising, yes, Richard Ayoade – Maurice Moss to you and me if we’re being honest – directed and wrote the screenplay for this film and in one move suddenly displayed a whole range of amazing skills he kept pretty fucking quiet underneath that glorious afro.

Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts, who I’d just like to point out looks creepily like Alex Turner, who did the music for Submarine – not suggesting you have a super injunction on a love-child, Alex, just saying we know they’re all the rage) is a 15 year old socially awkward boy from Swansea , who is in love with a blunt and mischievous girl in his class, Jordana (Yasmin Paige) and aims to make her his girlfriend and lose his virginity. Along with this he worries about his parents failing relationship and sex life, as well as his father’s depression and his fear is only increased when the ex-boyfriend and first love of his mum moves in beside them, with an impressive mullet to show for his life since then I guess.

Submarine is described as a coming-of-age comedy-drama film, but thankfully it goes without any of the sappy Hollywood mentality (despite it being produced by Ben Stiller) and shows true Britishness throughout (not BNP Britishness, calm down), right down to the Welsh accents and dry wit dialogue. It was amusing as fuck and for once, the actual ‘gotta lose my virginity since god knows I can’t just lie about it even though all of my mates probably aren’t having sex either’ thing doesn’t drag on like in most films of the same type – it just endears the audience to Oliver and provides this scene, which is really a reason to see Submarine in itself. It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s original with fantastic acting, it has a great soundtrack, it tells you that the ocean is only 6 disappointing miles deep and you can still see it in the Prince Charles Cinema. Which is well worth going to just for the comfy armchairs. Seriously, don’t fall asleep in them. You’ll just make life awkward for yourself.

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