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Stars: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine

Director: Richard Ayoade

Living in a town presumably on the Welsh coast, 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Roberts) is worried about his parents' (Hawkins, Taylor) marriage, as his mother's ex-flame (Considine) has just moved in next door.

At the same time, he has conceived a crush on Jordana (Paige), a classmate. When he refuses to call her a slut despite being beaten by school bullies, she becomes his girlfriend (even if kissing her tastes of school milk and Dunhill International) and they enjoy madcap times together, mostly letting off fireworks along the seashore, but eventually having sex, at least for one night.

Complications with his parents lead to a split with Jordana after he fails to visit her sick mother in hospital, but, this being two steps removed from real life, we're at least guaranteed a happy ending. Although this isn't how life is, at least it is in Oliver's 15-year-old mind.

The surrealistic approach gets a bit much at times, and rather stifles the natural talents of Hawkins in particular. Roberts is a bit of blank as the boy who might be The Graduate six years younger, but Paige is nice as the girl, and the film sometimes carries a ring of truth beneath its artificiality.

David Quinlan

UK 2010. UK Distributor: Optimum. Colour by deluxe.
95 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Mar 2011