A clerk in a government agency finds his unenviable life takes a turn for the horrific with the arrival of a new co-worker who is both his exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and seductive with women.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
Precocious Oliver struggles with being popular in school but when a dark-haired beauty takes interest in him, he's determined to become the best boyfriend in the world. Meanwhile, his parents' already rocky relationship is threatened when his mother's ex-boyfriend moves in next door. Oliver makes some unorthodox plans to ensure that his parents stay together and that Jordana still likes him. Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. A UK version of a teen comedy is quite a different experience than a US teen comedy. Maybe it's the source material from Joe Dunthorne's novel or maybe it's the deft touch of first time director Richard Ayoade. Either way, there is much more depth and emotion involved here ... not just sight gags.
The two leads are Craig Roberts as Oliver and Yasmin Paige as Jordana. Watching the way these two work so hard at not appearing to like each other perfectly captures the teen dance. Once they do get together, the film does a nice job of creating those perfect moments of doubt, discovery and subtle humiliation.
Oliver is carrying quite the burden. He strives to be the perfect boyfriend, but is also very concerned about the slow collapse of his parents' marriage. This problem is enhanced when his mom's old lover moves in across the street. Graham Purvis is some self-proclaimed mystic healer who somehow gets people to pay attention to his words, despite driving around town in a van with his face painted on the side.
Oliver's parents are played by Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins. Taylor is superb as the quietly suffering loner who has no concept of what makes a relationship. Hawkins is the disillusioned wife eager to recapture the magic of her youth ... even if it is with a goofball mystic played by Paddy Considine.
I have to point out that Craig Roberts, who plays Oliver, is the spitting image of a young Bud Cort ... and even has some of Cort's mannerisms from the classic Harold and Maude. Mostly Oliver and Jordana are just two regular teenagers fighting angst, depression and self-doubt, not to mention REAL issues like disinterested parents and a very sick mother. Turns out, being a teen is every bit as tough in the UK as it is in the US ... but the dialogue is much better!
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