The audience were laughing, and I personally was crying, off and on throughout. The boy from the fundamentalist family has a massive fantasy life, and this occasionally spills into the film in the form of bright raw animation scribbled-on to the film stock. I wish they'd had much more of that actually. It's unclear how much of what we see is real and how much is through childlike eyes. The sixth form common room for instance is like a nightclub, with popping candy and coca-cola instead of poppers and coke.
The values are humanist and warm. Jessica Stephenson (Jessica Hynes now) gives a sympathetic performance as the fundie mum, frightened of imagination.
Incidentally, when the boys try ill-advised dangerous stunts, I found myself calling out 'No!' at the screen, and amusingly I heard a dad a few rows behind me saying the same thing. Parents eh?