SWIMMING

Sinking into Aimless Sensuality

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 26, 2002

Starring: Lauren Ambrose, Jennifer
Dundas Lowe, and Joelle Carter

Genre: Drama

Audience: Mid to Older Teens

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 98 minutes

Distributor: Oceanside Pictures

Director: Robert Siegel

Executive Producer: Grace Woodard and Reginald
Shelbourne

Producer: Jose Molinari-Rosaly

Writer: Lisa Bazadona, Robert Siegel

Address Comments To:

Oceanside Pictures
302 West 86th Street
Suite 10-B
New York, NY 10024

Content:

(PaPaPa, HoHo, H, LLL, SS, N, A, D, M, B) Pagan worldview with main characters seeking sensual pleasure; homosexual themes with main character trying to seduce another female lead, characters seen as people to be used; extreme language with more than 55 mostly strong obscenities and eight profanities; no violence; one graphic scene of intercourse with view of nude back (only) of man, lots of movement and sound, one scene of attempted intercourse with female in bra and shorts and male clothed, implied sex as couple spends night together in back of van, coarse, suggestive talk and gestures between male and female characters, several scenes of female character caressing and touching another female (outside of clothing), one scene of female kissing female on lips, implied adultery between two characters; several scenes of females in tight, revealing clothes, back of male seen as he has sex with female, shot looking up short skirt of one female, revealing panties, female lifts her skirt to reveal her panties; several scenes of alcohol consumption, character passes out during attempted sex due to over-consumption of alcohol; scene of drug use as two characters use a bong while consuming alcohol, one character who is always somewhat “stoned;” and, elements of deception, revenge, one character jailed for trashing a hotel room in anger, element of forgiveness as one character extends grace to another after being hurt by forgiving her and bailing her out of jail.


Summary:

SWIMMING, a story about a teenager in Myrtle Beach and her sexually active friends and family, is yet another movie treating teenagers as constant participants in the lowest of human behaviors. Instead of having teenagers “come of age” by discovering self-control or moral character, these characters swim around in a sea of angst, sexuality and emotional upheaval.


Review:

SWIMMING purports to be a teenage coming of age movie that is sweet and non-cliché, but instead seems to sadly return to the worldly elements teenagers are so often tagged with: substance abuse, lax sexuality and morose self-absorption.



Lauren Ambrose plays Frankie, a “homely on the outside, but pretty on the inside” girl who lives in Myrtle Beach with her married brother and his family. The audience is told that their parents retired to Arizona, but it seems odd that this young girl has been handed off to her brother to be raised.



Neil (Josh Pais) is far too busy trying to eke out a living with the diner he and Frankie run to pay much attention to her obvious emotional needs. Her best friend Nicola (Jennifer Dundas Lowe) runs a body piercing shop and sleeps with boys on the side. Nicola’s idea of a great Friday night is to “break out the lipstick and mall shoes” and cruise the boulevard looking for guys. Brad, the randy lifeguard, rounds out this typical (in teen flicks) trio of friends.



Life in Myrtle Beach gets complicated when Brad’s new girlfriend Josee is hired to work at the diner. Frankie’s brother hires her because she is attractive. He spends much of the movie eyeing, and finally bedding, her behind his wife’s back. Josee spends most of the movie having sex with several men while also trying to seduce Frankie, and ruining the lifelong friendship between Nicola and Frankie. There is no explanation for Josee’s dual sexuality, and not much condemnation of Neil’s adulterous behavior.



Lauren Ambrose is very good in this engaging performance, but hasn’t been given much to work with. Her character wants to experience life and be loved, but her personal growth and change is minimal. Frankie ends up tantalized and confused by Josee, and then decides to sleep and experiment with drugs with Heath (Jamie Harrold), a sweet, but heavily medicated young man who sells tie-dye clothing out of his van. Jennifer Dundas Lowe is also good as the feisty Nicola, but again, plays a character with low morals and raunchy habits.



SWIMMING could make a positive statement about friendship, relationships and family, but wants too much to replace real content with sensual pursuits, raunchy language and an aimless, meandering plot. Robert Seigel comments in his production notes that he sought to make a “true to life film about ordinary events in the lives of teens.” Teenagers are the ultimate imitators, and they desperately need to see teenagers modeling self-control and more than that, modeling moral and purposeful (yet not corny) behavior. They are out there.


In Brief:

SWIMMING purports to be a teenage coming of age movie that is sweet and non-cliché, but instead sadly returns to the worldly elements teenagers are so often tagged with: substance abuse, lax sexuality and morose self-absorption. Lauren Ambrose plays Frankie, a “homely on the outside, but pretty on the inside” girl who lives in Myrtle Beach with her married brother and his family. Neil is far too busy trying to eke out a living with the diner he and Frankie run to pay much attention to her obvious emotional needs. Her best friend Nicola runs a body piercing shop and sleeps with boys on the side. Brad, the randy lifeguard, rounds out this typical (in teen flicks) trio of friends.



Lauren Ambrose is very good in this role, but hasn’t been given much to work with. SWIMMING could make a positive statement about friendship, relationships and family, but wants too much to replace real content with sensual pursuits, raunchy language and an aimless, meandering plot. Teenagers are the ultimate imitators, and they desperately need to see teenagers modeling self-control and more than that, modeling moral and purposeful (yet not corny) behavior