Bomber is a prime example of a movie that feels fresh and insightful even though its individual elements are familiar. It's about a road trip, an underemployed 30-year-old man-child who lacks direction, a husband and wife who no longer communicate, and a family that must learn to relate to one another again. Not exactly a groundbreaker, obviously, but writer/director Paul Cotter's feature debut benefits from strong performances and from Cotter's knack for avoiding the obvious, easy resolutions.
The married couple are Alistar (Benjamin Whitrow) and Valerie (Eileen Nicholas), both British, fairly upper-class, and in their 80s. They are embarking on a road trip to Germany, where Alistar wants to visit a particular small village for reasons the film saves for later. (It doesn't exactly spoil the movie, but it's better not to know -- which means you shouldn't read the plot description at IMDb.) Their son, Ross (Shane Taylor), is an artist (read: unemployed) and not a particularly ambitious one. At the last minute, and due to his parents' doddering incompetence, he joins them on their trip, resentful at having to leave his girlfriend behind.
The tensions, which Cotter mines for both laughs and winces, emerge immediately. Alistar thinks Ross is wasting his life. Ross thinks his dad is a stubborn old fool. Valerie only wants to visit dotty museums and 150-year-old Dutch shoe shops, and to keep things peaceful between her husband and son. She also, we find out, wishes Alistar would pay more attention to her, and Ross' relationship drama with his girlfriend (conducted via cell phone) inspires her to take action.