Wednesday, 11 May 2011


The young lovers.
Robert Burns Theatre presented a British coming of age comedy drama for Monday night’s Film Club, which makes a nice change from the rather serious film diet of late. Richard Ayoade, the Whipps Cross (that’s East London) born comedian, is best known for his TV work including The Mighty Boosh and the It Crowd as well as music videos for the likes of Artic Monkeys and Kasabian Submarine (2010) is his first feature film which he adapted for the screen from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel of the same name.

Dad's not looking his best!
Oliver Tate has two vital matters to attend to. Firstly he must get a girlfriend and loose his virginity, certainly an important issue for a 15 year-old schoolboy. Secondly, but no less significant, he would like to save his parents marriage who, according to Oliver’s “dimmer switch” theory, have not had sex for seven months. He suspects that his mother Jill is having an affair with an old flame, Graham Purvis, who has returned to his home town as a spiritual guru with an attractive Asian girlfriend in tow and a love nest in the back of a Transit van. Mean while Oliver’s father Lloyd is in the depths of a depression.

A rather nasty display of bullying impresses potential girlfriend Jordana whom Oliver has set his heart on and they become an item. Oliver may look a nerd, sporting his duffel coat and briefcase, but the boy obviously has hidden depths? Although not the most romantic of girlfriend’s Jordana seems just the girl for our protagonist, she has a fondness for matches and setting fire to things, for example a skip full of rubbish, a bicycle, other peoples leg hairs and even her dog gets a Viking funeral.

Mum's looking for some spiritual guidance. 
The film stars Craig Roberts as Oliver, with Yasmin Page (The Sarah Jane Adventures) appearing as Jordana Bevan. Oliver’s parents are played by the extremely talented Sally Hawkins, who we recently saw in Made in Dagenham(2010) with the English born Australian actor Noah Taylor (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 2004) as the father. The wonderful Paddy Considine, who can normally be found collaborating with Mr Shane Meadows, portrays our new age hippy Graham Purvis.  

Supposedly set in Swansea, but mostly filmed in Barry made famous by the TV series Gavin and Stacy, its story is timeless but has been placed in the mid 1980’s still to a certain extent an age of naivety and is related entirely from Oliver’s prospective. Original songs were written and sung by Artic Monkeys front man Alex Turner. Probably not the best British movie your ever see but it’s a entertainingly funny and honest piece of cinema, a very promising start for Richard Ayoade, it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

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