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Swimfan (2002)
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Review Date: September 05, 2002
Director: John Polson
Writer: Charles Bohl, Phillip Schneider
Producers: Joseph M. Carracciolo Jr.
Actors:
Jesse Bradford as Ben Cronin
Erika Christensen as Madison Bell
Shiri Appleby as Amy Miller
Plot:
A new girl in school seduces a young, strappin' lad on his way to a good life with his doting girlfriend and his championship swimming records, and proceeds to rip his life in two. Will the boy be able to survive the girl's terror and possibly "clockstop" his way to a better life? Swimming fans and psycho bitches...ensue.
Critique:
The first words that came out of my mouth after watching this movie were, "Eh, I had a good time." It's a statement that needs qualifying, especially since the film itself isn't original in the least, is about as predictable as Robert Downey Jr. with a dimebag and is so absolutely geared towards the teen generation...that it's not even funny! The thing you have to "get" about this movie is that it's not an Oscar contender, it doesn't pretend to be deep or anything but it does offer various "cheap" fun moments along the way (some may call it...a guilty pleasure!!) The actors are probably its best ingredient with each one delivering in their respective function and making the characters as believable as you could under these circumstances, in that "FATAL ATTRACTION for the teen generation" kind of way. Jesse Bradford is especially effective as the boy who allows his "little head" to do the thinking for him early on and spirals into a massive world of pain soon thereafter. I bought him as the dude overwhelmed by it all, appreciated his chemistry with his girlfriend, and considering that he looks like a young Jason Patric, hope that he might even have a decent career ahead of him if he takes some chances on future projects. Shiri Appleby was also very good as the loving girlfriend, very real, very caring...and yes, believably emotional when need be. But the jewel in this crown of cheese had to be the girl who appeared to be channeling Glenn Close as the "misunderstood girl" in high school, Erika Christensen, doing an excellent job as the psycho beeyatch from hell.

She plays the part as deliciously conniving as you can get and really gave me the impression of being one deranged human being-great piece of acting. What's strange is that by the end of the movie, I really wanted her dead as a doornail, but I also really wanted to nail her against a door...so what does that say about her? (then again, what does that say about me??) I guess it says that she did a convincing job with her role, and it also says that I need to get laid...and quick! Which reminds me, she also looked a little like my ex-girlfriend (you know, the one who dumped my sorry ass), so that played with my head as well. Of course, my ex- never went bonkers like this crazy chick, but then again...since when did this review turn into a couch session?? (lay off the booze, man!) Onwards and upwards. So what else did I like about this movie? Well, it had a decent set-up, the soundtrack was as teeny rock as you'd expect, the chemistry between the main players was solid, the plot wasn't as Swiss cheesy as you'd expect, and there were actually a couple of uncomfortable moments along the way. What was the film lacking? Well, one goddamn moment of inspiration, that's what! Even though I did enjoy myself overall, I don't think there was any one scene that surprised or took me aback, and the entire back-story of the lead psycho chick was about as developed and satisfying as my own pathetic sex life. A little more sugar would have been sweet. It also felt like the film was cut a little short on purpose ("The teens will stop paying attention past 90 minutes, sir!"), so maybe the DVD will pump all that up a bit.

As for what was there, if you're like me and you thought that J. Lo's predictable ride through the town of girl-power in a little ditty called ENOUGH was a guilty pleasure good time earlier this year, you're likely to enjoy this "campy thriller" as well, especially since the teen actors all come through, and Christensen is a blast to watch! "You love me...I know it!!" Shut the fuck up, you crazy psycho beeyatch! PS: Call me.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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