Film / Submarine

Submarine is a British dramedy released in 2010. It's the coming-of-age story of Oliver Tate, a teenage boy living in Swansea, Wales in the 1980s. He falls in love with Jordana, a fellow school student and committed mischief-maker, and at the same time starts to worry about his parents' health and marriage.

It's based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne, was the directorial debut of Richard Ayoade and featured an original soundtrack by Alex Turner.

This film contains examples of:

  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Jordana Bevan, nicknamed by classmates as "Banana Heaven".
  • Book Worm: Oliver is given a dictionary and thesaurus as presents.
  • Black Comedy
  • Brainy Brunette: Oliver and Lloyd.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Zoe Preece...
    • On a meta level as well; In the book, she has a bigger role, having lost weight and enjoying her life in a new school after she's bullied out of her old one, and her success is contrasted with Oliver's immature victim complex. In the film she's not shown again after her bullying brings Jordana and Oliver together, and Oliver never gets comeuppance for his actions.
  • The Cameo: Executive Producer, Ben Stiller, has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo.
  • Character Development: Jordana becomes more sympathetic to others following her mother's tumour. This causes Oliver to distance himself from her.
    • Oliver himself becomes more conscious of the people around him by the end.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Graham.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Oliver.
  • Cringe Comedy
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Subverted; the first scene at the beach seems like this, but Jordana will freely admit to not loving Oliver. Although the "Hiding Tonight" sequence shows some shades of this, as when Jordana gives Oliver a Longing Look when he's not looking.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Oliver, after breaking up with Jordana.
  • Ignored Confession: Subverted. Jill just assumes Oliver is joking when he tells her he has a girlfriend.
  • Inner Monologue
  • Jerk Ass: Jordana, before her Character Development; Oliver states that she likes to bully "in moderation" despite not being popular herself. She's a lot less so in the novel.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Not a golden heart, perhaps, but a softer side. The scene where Oliver has an "early Christmas" dinner with her family shows her tender side, first by hugging her upset father and later showing some emotion to Oliver, hugging him first. When Oliver breaks up with her, it's also obvious how hurt she is by him.
    • Oliver becomes this later on, when he's the one pushing Jordana away when she needs him.
    • And Chips is the straightest example.
  • Lady in Red: Jordana wears a bright red coat; see Red Oni, Blue Oni below.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Oliver muses during one scene that, in a film of his life, he'd want the camera following him as he walks away, but all he could afford would probably be a zoom-out. Cue a hilariously clunky zoom-out.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Jordana is somewhat of a Manic Pixie Jerk Ass early in the movie to the introspective and inward Oliver; Jerk Ass in that her influence isn't necessarily positive, such as his joining in on Zoe's bullying because it entertains Jordana. Subverted in that most males want the MPDG to reciprocate their feelings; Oliver breaks up with Jordan when he's worried she'll get too "gooey."
  • Manipulative Bitch: Jordana, according to her. Oliver comments to himself that he doesn't think she's as good as blackmail as she likes to think.
  • OOCIS Serious Business: Jordana Hates Being Touched and shrugs off Oliver's attempts at putting his arm around her. After he meets her ill mother, however, she's seen hugging her upset father, and afterwards she shocks Oliver when she initiates a hug — showing how much she needs him and making it hurt all the worse when he breaks up with her for that exact reason.
  • Pyro Maniac: Jordana.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The capricious Jordana is a Pyro Maniac and dresses in red; introverted, thoughtful Oliver is surrounded by blue and images of water. This becomes important later in the film, where Oliver can tell that Jordana read his note because of her red markings.
  • Shout-Out: Graham's persona is reminiscent of Tom Cruise's from Magnolia.
  • Stalking Is Love: Oliver, although he just stalks anyone that interests him.
  • Their First Time
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Oliver breaks off all contact with Jordana, even though it's obvious she needs him, in hope she won't "go gooey inside".
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Oliver certainly seems to think so.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jordana's ex-boyfriend cheated on her with another girl in class.
    • Jill gives Graham a hand job in his van, though that was the end of it.

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