Directed by: Richard Ayode
Stars: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Page, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins
Oliver Tate (Roberts) is a fifteen-year-old with a couple of problems. One, he’s infatuated with Jordana (Page) but she doesn’t notice him, and two, his parents are losing the spark (he’s been keeping a chart of their sex life). As he sets out to fix these two things life happens and he finds that things don’t happen as logically as he could predict.
This coming-of-age teen romance is charming, sweet, hilarious and witty. It’s one of the most refreshing films I’ve seen for a while. Ayode directs with great style and pace. The dialogue is natural as is the chemistry and the events of the film. Roberts is great as the curious and often-bewildered Oliver. His relationship with Jordana is touching and it encapsulates the uncertainty of romance well, as Oliver seeks to understand Jordana, who is complicated and unpredictable. While his relationship develops and he tries to reach Jordana on a deeper level his parent’s marriage is falling apart, especially when an ex-lover of his mother’s moves in next door. It was quite funny to see the naive boy try and fix his parent’s relationship while he was still struggling to develop his own.
Some of the things he does are completely inappropriate but because we’re given a window into his thought-process due to the voice-over we can understand why he does it. All the cast were brilliant and, really, I just love this movie. The style was brilliant and I liked how each character was assigned their own color. It was quirky and it just felt like a fresh film. Even though it deals with teen romance, which is something we’ve seen a million times before, it addressed the subject matter in a unique way and although it doesn’t star any Hollywood stalwarts there isn’t a weak link in the cast.
The music was weaved in expertly and the music picked perfectly accentuated what was happening in the film. A lot of romance films focus on the big moments but this one focuses on the stuff that happens in between, all the little things where you create a bond with someone. While these things are usually skipped over for a reason Ayode imbues them with tenderness and as such they seem more meaningful than a passionate first kiss.
I’m telling you guys, this is such a cool film. It feels original and it’s a joy to watch. Definitely definitely definitely seek this one out.