Submarine: "Jordana And I Enjoyed An Atavistic, Glorious Fortnight Of Lovemaking; Humiliating Teachers And Bullies In The Week"

Director: Richard Ayoade
Writer:    Richard Ayoade
Starring: Craig Roberts
               Yasmin Paige
               Sally Hawkins
               Noah Taylor
               Paddy Considine
               Darren Evans
               Steffan Rhodri
Rating:    ****

Home Release: Out Now

Richard Ayoade, star of The IT Crowd heads down the teenage angst route for his directorial debut, but this comedy about a Welsh teenager's love life is sweet and also very amusing.

t's a moody coming-of-age storyabout a lonely teenage boy in 1980s Swansea, adapted from the novel by Joe Dunthorne, and executive produced by Ben Stiller, who appears in a small cameo. We follow Oliver Tate (Roberts), a  loner at school who doesn't hesitate to join in the bullying of an overweight girl just to impress Jordana (Paige). She has a bullying streak and a vague pyromania issue, she like singeing boys leg hair with a match during intimate moments. They get together, and feel calm and safe with each other, but there are complications. Oliver's parents Lloyd and Jill (Taylor & Hawkins) are going through a marital crisis brought on by the appearance of Jill's old flame Graham (Considine), a new age self-help guru who runs seminars and sells motivational videos about all sorts of nonsense. Adding more emotional stress to their young love is Jordana's mother Jude, who is also seriously ill.

I didn't necessarily find Submarine moving, even though the film was laced with sad and lonely characters; it somehow flows as a dark comedy and is actually quite far removed from any emotional reality. Because of this, I struggled to get to emotionally attached, and didn't actually get moved as much as I was expecting. Despite that, is actually a genuinely sweet and touching film, as well as wickedly sharp and, at times, very funny. It has that typical British feel to it, the sort of feeling that at the same time as it being quite dark and dreary, it is actually extremely amusing, and very enjoyable. All of the characters have a self pity about them, especially Oliver, who straight away wonders how people would feel if he died. despite this sounding very depressing, it is really quite amusing. The relationship between the two young leads is really well acted and suits the movie perfectly. It is their young love and chemistry which makes the film so endearing, and the two should be commended for this.

For a lot of people, this movie will have a "you either love it or you hate it" feel:  and it will most definitely divide opinions. There are times when the film feels like it tries to hard, and it is very conscientious, but these are just minor issues, that are forgotten when you the film starts to to become a visually distinctive, witty, autobiographical comedy. As for Ayoade, for his first film as director, it truly is superb, and he looks to have  very promising career both in the UK and America. It is director's like him that are the future of British cinema, and it looks like we have a very bright future indeed. The film is out on DVD etc. right now, and it is a brilliant winters day watch, very funny and heartwarming all at the same time.

Submarine - Trailer