johnlink ranks SWIMFAN (2002)

I went to the store last night and purchased Miller High Life. In cans. I’ve been drinking so much good beer all winter that I needed something to cleanse the palate. I am a beer snob, so I’m pretty sure these are the first actual cans of beer I’ve purchased since college (not counting widget cans like Boddington’s, Belhaven, or Guinness). Watching SWIMFAN must have been, on a subconscious level, born out of a similar urge. I’ve seen many good films already this year and needed something to reset the gauge a little bit. Sometimes there is a reason that mediocre art exists.

I watched SWIMFAN (2002) on 2.23.12. It was my second viewing of the film, and first since its release.

I was under the impression that Freddie Prinze Jr. was in this. Instead, I think that he must have turned it down and so they got someone who looks just like him, but with a little more bulk. In fairness, Jesse Bradford acquits himself well enough as the leading male in this. I wouldn’t run out to see stuff he’s done, but he is not a reason to not see anything either.

Oh, I guess you want to know what this is about. It’s basically just FATAL ATTRACTION in high school with a lot of blue tinted scenes because the leading dude is a swimmer. Erika Christensen had made a name for herself in TRAFFIC and turned it into this starring role as the femme fatale. She is not bad in this, though the suffering girlfriend played by Shiri Appleby is surprisingly better.

The swimmer has sex with the new girl in the high school pool, which he regrets because he has an awesome and beautiful girlfriend who makes sexual propositions towards him regularly. The new girl turns all psycho when he tries to cut it off (the relationship, not, you know, it).

For the first hour or so, this is played out as a little drama, and it’s not too bad. None of the actors are Olivier, but they are not embarrassing either. But once the new girl starts killing people it gets real silly real fast. This is the sort of movie where 20 somethings are playing high school kids. I’m used to that, I’m fine with that. But then that same kid can then put on a lab coat and pretend to be a doctor and walk by security during a time when security should be heightened (except, of course, for the floor surrounding the threatened girl). Credibility lost.

The biggest problem with this movie is how horribly dated it is. It’s a decade old, but I think it must have been made before that. The lead has a beeper, and there is not a cell phone to be seen elsewhere. This is from an era in Hollywood where people in the real world, especially young people, were starting to get cell phones. The movie machine hadn’t figured out how to deal with plot turns wherein a person could just make a simple call to the police to get out of trouble. Instead of trying to figure these things out, many movies decided to pretend that the technology doesn’t exist. Outdated now, but I bet this movie felt outdated on its release date.

I can’t work up any real loathing for this movie (note: it does not get dumped into this site’s ‘johnlink poops on’ section). It’s not that bad. But other than the surprisingly satisfactory acting by the three leads (again, satisfactory, not great), there is not much good to say either. I am of the opinion that every movie is someone’s favorite. I didn’t like 300, but I can see where people do. I don’t have a movie crush on Narnia, but I know why others do. But I can’t imagine SWIMFAN is anybody’s favorite flick. I’m not sure why it got made. It’s the Miller High Life of early 21st century teen thrillers.





~ by johnlink00 on February 24, 2012.

One Response to “johnlink ranks SWIMFAN (2002)”

  1. […] But it just boggles my mind that this was made the same year as the movie I most previously ranked, SWIMFAN. While SWIMFAN is already terribly dated and forgettable, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is timeless and […]

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