Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Swimming with Men, Swimming, with, Men, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Rob Brydon, Jim Carter, Rupert Graves, Charlotte Riley, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Nathaniel Parker, Thomas Turgoose, Adeel Akhtar, Christian Rubeck, Oliver Parker, Comedy film rating

SWIMMING WITH MEN

★★

SYNC OR SWIM?

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
13th March 2019

We all feel a little like a fish out of water at times - it’s part of human nature. But what if you discovered that you were in your element when you were synchronised swimming? That’s the premise of the British comedy ‘Swimming with Men’, which offers great potential for comedic and dramatic aspects - but it seems the waves are a little choppier than you might expect.

Eric (Rob Brydon, ‘The Trip’ series) is suffering from a mid-life crisis: his accounting job isn’t fulfilling him the way that it used to, and he suspects his wife Heather (Jane Horrocks, Bubbles from ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’ and the TV series) is having an affair with one of her work colleagues. He confronts her about it and leaves their family home, and finds the only way to cope is diving below his local pool’s surface and blocking out the world around him. There, he meets a troupe of middle-aged male synchronised swimmers and unwittingly joins them. They decide to compete at the Unofficial Male Sync-Swimming World Championships - but can they pull it off against the international professionals when they only have a month to train?

'SWIMMING WITH MEN' TRAILER

Sounds like laughs aplenty, right? In reality, they’re fairly few and far between. There’s a certain humour to watching these overweight, hairy, middle-aged men flounder around in the pool, but there isn’t much in terms of laugh-out-loud comedy - which is a shame, because there’s opportunity for it. Oddly, though, there isn’t too much seriousness to the film either; it’s not as though the emotional gravitas dominates the humour. Granted, the film is generally lighthearted, but we instead wander from one scenario to another without any real synergy.

The story’s other big letdown is its out-of-date attitudes. At a time when cinema is moving away from male-driven stories, this one belly-flops right into the arena. The central eight men in the synchronised swimming team do have a little diversity in regards to age, race, social class and sexuality, but any female characters are well on the outskirts of their lives, including Eric’s wife Heather and charismatic swim coach Susan (Charlotte Riley). At the end of the day, this is the story of a middle-class white man with fears of getting older.

The story’s other big letdown is its out-of-date attitudes. At a time when cinema is moving away from male-driven stories, this one belly-flops right into the arena.

Which is all a shame, because it's an ensemble cast that deserves better. I’ve always enjoyed Rob Brydon’s dry style of humour, and it does get to shine through occasionally, but it’s definitely dulled by the limited material. Other British names like Rupert Graves and Jim Carter struggle to stay afloat as they battle for screen time. Ultimately, nobody shines through because so many of the key scenes feature the whole team in very rowdy, rough scenarios.

On the upside, direction from Oliver Parker (‘Dorian Gray’, ‘Hellraiser’) is somewhat refreshing, particularly the underwater shots. Utilising both close-ups and extreme wide shots, plus some fascinating upside-down shots of the synchronised swimming, it’s refreshing to see an environment that’s usually drab, dark and dull appear colourful and, at times, even beautiful.

The emphasis on teamwork, trying something new, and ignoring what other people think are great messages, but not enough to save this sinking ship. The biggest sin is that ‘Swimming with Men’ simply offers nothing original. The concept of male synchronised swimming is cute, but not enough to blow you out of the water. Missing some real potential, this film comes off as a little wet behind the ears.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 21/03/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 36m
CAST: Rob Brydon
Jim Carter
Rupert Graves
Charlotte Riley
Jane Horrocks
Daniel Mays
Nathaniel Parker
Thomas Turgoose
Adeel Akhtar
Christian Rubeck
DIRECTOR: Oliver Parker
SwimmingWithMen
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Rosemary & Thyme: The Complete Collection - Mystery thriller series featuring the gardening detectives
TRENDINGWIN ROSEMARY & THYME: THE COMPLETE COLLECTIONMystery thriller series featuring the gardening detectives
Brideshead Revisited: The Complete Series - The classic novel adapted with a distinguished ensemble cast
TRENDINGWIN BRIDESHEAD REVISITED: THE COMPLETE SERIESThe classic novel adapted with a distinguished ensemble cast
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
Sorry, Wrong Number - An inventive slice of 1940s film noir
TRENDINGSORRY, WRONG NUMBERAn inventive slice of 1940s film noir
Scoob! - Mystery swapped for money-hungry mayhem
TRENDINGSCOOB!Mystery swapped for money-hungry mayhem
I Married A Monster From Outer Space - The world Blu-ray debut of a 1950s sci-fi curio
TRENDINGI MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACEThe world Blu-ray debut of a 1950s sci-fi curio
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Proxima - An earthbound drama about motherhood
TRENDINGPROXIMAAn earthbound drama about motherhood
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Sleeping Beauty - A history of Disney's masterpiece on its 60th anniversary
TRENDINGSLEEPING BEAUTYA history of Disney's masterpiece on its 60th anniversary
I Still Believe - Faith romantic drama misses every demographic
TRENDINGI STILL BELIEVEFaith romantic drama misses every demographic
Basic Instinct - 25 years of the erotic thriller
TRENDINGBASIC INSTINCT25 years of the erotic thriller
Abe - Fusing food for peace and harmony
TRENDINGABEFusing food for peace and harmony
Buffy - A 20th anniversary love letter
TRENDINGBUFFYA 20th anniversary love letter
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us