Swept Away (2002)
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Review Date: October 07, 2002
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Producers: Matthew Vaughn
Madonna as Amber
Adriano Giannini as Giuseppe
Bruce Greenwood as Paycheck
A rich bitch with a Linda Hamilton physique treats her cabin boy like garbage until she is suddenly deserted on an island with the poor chap, who himself, starts treating her like garbage. Fun times. Ultimately, they meet a volleyball named Wilson, have some volley-kids and live happily ever after. Well, alright...that last part's not exactly true. Madonna dances, shows us a boob and love ensues? Oh yeah, suckiness also ensues!!
What an embarrassment. I can't believe that the guy who wrote and directed this movie also wrote and directed two of the coolest, grooviest, most stylish crime flicks of the past five years in SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. Is this really the same Guy Ritchie? I don't believe it...I really don't believe it! That dude had potential up the wazoo, man!! The guy who directed this piece of wreckage seems to have no concept of energy, no style whatsoever, no sense of story, no sense of continuity or believability, no ability to balance comedy and drama effectively and saddest of all, no sense of what makes a terrible movie...since that is exactly what this is! Easily one of the worst films of the year, SWEPT AWAY manages to keep us awake long enough to experience tepid chemistry amongst everyone, a horribly plotted "deserted island" scenario, some of the most chauvinistic and unfunny "manly" humor that I've ever seen, an insipid budding of romance which gives new meaning to the word "manufactured" and enough filler montage sequences to indicate that the director too, realized that he didn't have much of a story and hoped that padding the flick with shots of his wife dancing about might salvage this sinking ship. Ugh. I only wish that I could slap all the blame on Madonna for this one, but she's actually one of the film's few redeemable pieces (except when she actually tries to act near the end...yikes!). Some of the early stuff on the boat featuring the aging songstress (whose body is looking more and more like that of a 15-year old muscular boy) actually managed to make me smirk every now and again ("Hey look kids...it's Madonna acting bitchy...fun times!), and I especially liked how she kept calling the cabin boy "Pipi" instead of "Pepe" (laugh it up, folks...that's about as good as it gets).

Unfortunately for everyone, the tale eventually leads The Material Beeyatch to a deserted island on which she and co-star Adriano Giannini (a poor man's Antonio Banderas) begin what can only be described as one of the least credible courtships ever put to the screen. The love/hate thing is serviceable at first (we all dug it when Sam and Diane went back and forth like that on "Cheers", right?), but when the slapping starts, the kicking ensues and the natural progression is made to the always-hilarious...attempted rape, you begin to fully appreciate why studios don't like to greenlight wife/husband movies. Of course, attempted rape generally leads to love and with about half an hour to kill and zero story left to resolve, the comedy suddenly (as sudden as the people fleeing from our theater) switched gears completely and became...you guessed it-- a full-blown "romantic" drama with tears, love, separations and slow-mo chases. Gag me with a friggin' spoon and someone please remind Guy Ritchie to lay off the lager while penning his next screenplay, or at the very least, to return to his usual witty, quirky, charming self after this unforgettable debacle. The final 15 minutes of the film, during which several audience members could actually be heard crying...with laughter (alright, I was one of them), as characters divulged their undying love for one another, seemed like it was ripped right out of one of those melodramatic soap operas, aging leading lady and all. What's good about the movie? Not much, to be honest. Some of the one-liners between the two leads were somewhat amusing, Madonna seemed to have had a blast (playing herself?) as the uber-bitch and the deserted island and beach were gorgeous, but what the heck happened to the rest of the movie? My God!

Guy, Guy, Guy...what happened to you, buddy? Where's the style? Where's the energy? Where's the interesting story, the slick editing, the empathetic characters, the good ending, the wonderful tunes, the direction, the...anything?!? Honestly, I am convinced that this film was not directed by the same man who created SNATCH. I am convinced until I see an interview with him stating, in fact, that he is the man accountable for this fiasco (damn...saw him on Larry King tonight...he admitted it). Oh God, and I almost forgot to mention the unbelievably hilarious ending, which was so bad that I actually turned to the person sitting next to me and said "Wouldn't it be funny if the film just ended on this horrible note...it would be like the rotten cherry on top of this splendid piece of shit" and as the words were still coming out of my mouth, the credits started to roll. Stunning. A perfect flaming pie of shit. Some guy even tried to spit on the screen on his way out (I couldn't reach it though). I'm telling you ladies and germs, even some nip-action from one of Madonna's hooters couldn't save this submarine (nice ass, though!) And I'm one of those assholes who actually liked THE NEXT BEST THING! PS: If you pay real close attention, you can actually see actor Bruce Greenwood cashing his paycheck for his role in the background of one scene. Needless to say, he and Jeanne Tripplehorn are shamefully wasted in this disaster.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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