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A Pictorial History of Underwater Brooding

What do you do when the pressures of modern life become too much? If you’re an angsty, ennui-stricken movie character coming of age or having a midlife crisis, you leap into a swimming pool and, while submerged, either stare into space or share a moment with another problem-fleeing person. Inspired by this week’s debut of the trailer for Sofia Coppola’s mostly good-seeming Somewhere — in which reluctant dad Stephen Dorff has a pretend subaqueous tea party with Elle Fanning — we look back on other movies in which characters went underwater to get away. Which ones did we miss?

Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock was probably the first angsty coming-of-ager to find quiet in the deep end of his backyard pool, so we can probably forgive the overloaded symbolism of his armor-resembling scuba suit, a college-graduation present from his dad.
His dad was such a jerk that Cameron almost drowned to promote this cliché further.
Like the guns and modern-rock soundtrack, the underwater scene was a Baz Luhrmann flourish missing from Shakespeare’s original tragedy, which was written too soon to have been influenced by the cover of Nevermind.
He’s got a failing marriage, a pair of obnoxious twin sons, and a British Invasion soundtrack that follows him everywhere he goes, so nobody begrudges Bill Murray a little underwater time.
The Vietnam War, sickeningly overearnest Beatles covers, a Bono cameo — who wouldn’t want to escape to someplace with no oxygen?
Small-town living, a mean mom, and the pressures of roller-derby competition forced Ellen Page and her indie-rock boyfriend into a high-school pool for this respiratorily impossible sex scene last year.
A Pictorial History of Underwater Brooding