A film Wes Anderson might've made if he were, you know, British, Richard Ayoade's Submarine is one of the better coming-of-age comedies to come out in some time, even though it brazenly flaunts its many influences (Anderson's work being one of them) as if cheekily inviting the inevitable comparisons to Rushmore and the like. Taking place in the mid-'80s for no particular reason other than the setting provides a couple more jokes, Submarine chronicles the (often self-narrated) adventures of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts, poised for stardom), a 15-year-old boy Welsh boy whose rather complicated courtship of his pretty schoolmate (Yasmin Paige, ever non-reactionary with hip indifference) sparks a mission to rekindle the romance between his boring parents, an endeavor made all the more challenging by his mother's ex-boyfriend (Paddy Considine, terrific as always) suddenly moving in next door. Ayoade can't resist indulging in what are now the genre's trademark precious tricks such as chapter titles and, yes, droll voiceover, but Submarine is ultimately a witty and self-confident work, offering some unique insights into how teenagers live and love -- and some pretty big laughs as its hero braves the stormy weather of his suburban Swansea neighborhood as well as that of the human heart itself.
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