Check out the new trailer for “The First Time” starring Dylan O’Brien (MTV’s “Teen Wolf”), Britt Robertson (CW’s “The Secret Circle”) and Victoria Justice, with Craig Roberts (“Submarine”) James Frenchville, LaMarcus Tinker (“Glee”), Christine Taylor and Joshua Malina in supporting roles. The film is written and directed by Jonathan Kasdan.
Hype isn’t an easy thing to manage, and in some cases, it can even prove to be downright deflating. That’s the biggest issue at the center of Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut, “Submarine,” which fails to live up to the impossibly high acclaim that it earned on the festival circuit. Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film tells the story of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), an eccentric teenager who becomes smitten with feisty pyromaniac Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Paige) and sets his mind on losing his virginity to her. But while his new love life is going just swell, Oliver’s parents have hit a rough patch in their marriage, and when he discovers that his mother (Sally Hawkins) has been fraternizing with her ex-boyfriend (Paddy Considine), a new age mystic who happens to lives next door, Oliver takes it upon himself to intervene.
A quirky coming of age tale that skews more towards drama than comedy, “Submarine” falls somewhere between the whimsy of Wes Anderson’s oeuvre and the dry cynicism of a Noah Baumbach film. That’s not to say that the movie is particularly dark or somber, but the comic moments aren’t nearly as prevalent as some would lead you to believe. What the film does do well, however, is deliver an incredibly realistic depiction of what it’s like to be a teenager in love, thanks largely to the likeable performances of Roberts and Paige. The adult actors are also really good in their respective roles, although Considine’s character lacks the depth that he had in the novel. That’s partly because writer/director Ayoade has cut out some of the book’s less important subplots, and while that makes the movie a lot more focused as a result, it comes at the cost of a few of the story’s bigger payoffs. It’s a solid debut by Ayoade regardless, who thrives from the freedom of being able to experiment with a variety of styles, but for a movie as buzzed about as this, “Submarine” really could have been better.
I’d be inclined to declare this whole weekend a massive multiplex fail if it weren’t for the fact that the only major release is actually getting really great reviews. And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, this weekend is absolutely booming with opportunities provided you live in New York or Los Angeles. So onward we press into summer!
X-Men: First Class
Aside from its surprising ability to draw in very talented actors (its cast includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, and January Jones), my hopes for this film were unfathomably low until a couple of weeks ago, when word got out that Matthew Vaughn’s fourth feature (he previously directed Layer Cake, Stardust, and Kick-Ass) was actually really, really good. I don’t know why it surprised me so; after all, I liked all of his films to varying degrees, but it seems like, at least this once, a film slipped through the famously rigorous Fox development process. Currently boasting an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is better than any superhero movie has faired since the 2008 one-two-three punch of Iron Man, Hellboy II, and The Dark Knight, X-Men: First Class is poised to make a big dent this weekend both culturally and financially. I’ll be wading through the masses tomorrow to find out for myself how it holds up. Join me!
Hit the jump to see what else is coming out this weekend in limited release, including one of my favorite films of the year thus far.
Today’s theme is teen romance, attempted humor and single-word title division.
Disney’s “Prom” — via La Finke — gets some socially positive points for attempting to integrate one or two remarkably real-looking, non-beautiful teens amidst the usual parade of dreamboats, but I still wonder whether anyone over the age of 14 will actually want to see this. The trailer makes me think of an adult’s idea of what a teen movie should be, which of course is exactly what it is.
And now for something completely different in the way of teen romantic comedy. Critical claims of originality aside, “Submarine” clearly doesn’t mind paying homage to the 60s New Wave and “The 400 Blows” in particular as it adopts a novel by Joe Dunthorne. The plot sounds like “The Virginity Hit” minus the crassness, technology, and stupid Americans. Mixing in a bit of English deadpan with the Andersonian-esque quirk doesn’t look bad either.
The writer-director is Richard Ayoade, known to some of you as the deadpan Moss of “The IT Crowd.” The on-screen adults are Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, and Paddy Considine.