What You Need To Know:
Oliver’s quirky musings about his life help set the comic tone throughout SUBMARINE, which is well acted. The problems between Oliver’s parents and Jordana’s concern about her sick mother lend a serious, ultimately heartwarming quality. Regrettably, the movie does imply that the two lead teenage characters go to bed together. The teenagers also say a lot of “f” words. There’s also some other crude dialogue. This negative content fits in with the movie’s syncretistic pagan blend of Romantic expression, immoral behavior and moral, redemptive elements.
(PaPa, RoRo, B, C, Ho, LLL, V, S, A, D, M) Strong mixed pagan worldview with strong Romantic elements and some moral, redemptive elements about trying to save a marriage, with a couple examples of repentance and forgiveness, plus supporting character is a New Age pagan guru who talks about auras but he comes across as slightly comical, sad and needy, and boy tries to force another boy to say he’s homosexual even though he’s not, and girl says photographs of her kissing boyfriend will prove he’s not homosexual; about 39 obscenities (two-thirds or more are “f” words) and one light profanity (“For God’s sake”); girl accidentally falls into puddle of mud after being teased in a way that startles her and boy has another boy in a headlock; implied sexual rendezvous between two 15-year-olds, married woman considers adultery and leaving husband but doesn’t go through with it and brief crude sex talk; no nudity; brief alcohol use; brief smoking; and, bullying, teasing, passing dirty note in school, teenage boy spies on his mother to prevent her from committing adultery, and boy forges note from his mother to his father to spark some romance and help save their marriage.
SUBMARINE is a quirky British comedy about a teenage boy in love who tries to stop his mother from having an affair. It has some funny, positive aspects to it, but its Romantic worldview leads to a rendezvous between the boy and his girlfriend as well as a significant number of modern-day obscenities.
Set in Wales in the 1980s, the movie opens with precocious 15-year-old Oliver Tate talking about himself, his parents, his school, and the girl he likes, Jordana Bevan. Oliver is worried about his parents, who have grown apart. He pursues Jordana, with the goal of losing his virginity before his next birthday. They begin seeing one another after Jordana suddenly takes instant photographs of her kissing him under a local train track bridge.
Jordana begins opening up to Oliver after they fornicate when Oliver’s parents are out one evening. She tells him her mother has cancer, which could be terminal, so he agrees to meet her parents for dinner one evening. Jordana’s worried father is overly touched by Oliver’s concern for his wife.
However, when Oliver’s own mother seems about to begin an affair with a former lover who’s moved next door, he becomes preoccupied with saving his parents’ marriage. Oliver’s preoccupation threatens to derail his relationship with Jordana.
Oliver’s quirky musings about his life, such as his desire to have someone make a movie of his life, set a comic tone throughout SUBMARINE, which is based on a cult novel by Joe Dunthorne. Oliver’s behavior often matches his narration. For instance, in one scene, a dramatic Oliver actually tells his wayward mother, with no prompting from his father, that he and his father are determined to save “this marriage.” The problems between Oliver’s parents and Jordana’s concern about her sick mother lend a serious, ultimately heartwarming quality to SUBMARINE. The performances are practically perfect, so writer/director Richard Ayoade deserves a lot of credit for running things on the set.
Regrettably, the movie does imply that the two lead teenage characters go to bed together. Also, the teenagers say a lot of “f” words and a few other obscenities. There’s also some crude dialogue about sex, although it was relatively minor when compared to the movie’s foul language.
This negative content fits in with the movie’s blend of Romantic expression and concern for having a positive family life. This is a syncretistic, pagan society with no foundation. After all of the mindless attacks on the Bible and the Church in the last two centuries, Western societies have lost their strong Christian foundation. This leaves people adrift, so they grab their beliefs and values from multiple, conflicting sources, with little or no thought to being logical, consistent or coherent. This pagan syncretism affects even Christians.