The Big Bad Swim

"Good"

The Big Bad Swim Review


Don't let the DVD cover fool you. There are no bikini-clad romps at the beach in The Big Bad Swim, as the photo might suggest. Rather, this comedy-drama uses the strangest of settings -- adults learning to swim later in life -- to explore relationships among a group of disjointed Connecticuters.

Unlike with ensemble dramas like Magnolia, there's only lip service paid to connecting the stories here. While the class has about a dozen people in it, director Ishai Setton mainly focuses on two of the classmates: Amy (Paget Brewster), a teacher headed for divorce, and Jordan (Jess Weixler), an innocent-seeming girl who actually works as a casino dealer and stripper. Their lone connection: Jordan's brother is a student in Amy's class, which they put together later in the film. Swimming instructor Noah (Jeff Branson) also plays a role: He's a hunky guy that all the gals in the class adore, but he's morose and wants a dog.

Hey, I didn't say the film was great. But it's got plenty of little moments and some surprisingly good performances, not just from the always-reliable Brewster but also from the unknown actors in the group. Brewster's Amy is the richest character in the flick, with complicated a work and personal life that really makes you feel sorry for her without becoming morose and depressing. Will she find comfort befriending a stripper with a heart of gold? Well, Swim can devolve into schmaltz from time to time, but on the whole the movie is balanced, not overly saccharine, and frequently, dryly funny.

The movie's sore spot is that it takes much too long to get going. There's no real direction from the start that indicates just what this film is going to be about, and though swimming/drowning is an obvious metaphor for these characters' personal lives, there's a little too much time paddling around in the pool when we ought to be getting to know our quiet heroes.



The Big Bad Swim

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 26th April 2006

Distributed by: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Four Act Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ishai Setton

Producer: Ishai Setton, Chandra Simon

Starring: as Amy Pierson, as Noah Owens, as Jordan Gallagher, Ricky Ullman as Hunter McCarthy, Avi Setton as David Gallagher

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