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2 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B00008W2R4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,318 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Format: DVD
I really don't like Lauren Ambrose. I feel that she always has the same expression on her face, eyes wide open, appearing as if she is sick or scared all of the time.
I thought that I would maybe like this movie because the preview looked interesting. Frankie (Lauren Ambrose) is the main character, and she co-owns a restaurant with her brother, but he does most of the work, and she waitresses. She doesn't have a car, hangs around with the same girl (Nicola) all of the time, and basically wanders through her life, which isn't that interesting to begin with. The thing is, with a main character that is shown alone so often throughout the movie, we should be able to tell what she is feeling on her face if she is to carry the movie, but I couldn't.
This new girl comes into town, and Frankie seems to be very taken by her, and vice versa. They click, Nicola becomes jealous, and we start to wonder if there are feelings that Nicola has for Frankie, because of how strongly her negative feelings are for the "new girl." I also started to wonder if Frankie was going to experience anything with the new girl because of all of the tension that seems to go on. Franie then meets a guy who lives in his van with two dogs and sells Tie Dye t-shirts, and everything changes.
It appears that there are a lot of people that are using each other in this film. I gave it two stars but there were some interesting things that "could have" come from it, but, nothing really did, and the ending just sort of "happened." I understand that there are some movies that are just supposed to show you a "slice of life," but I can't even consider this being a coming of age movie, because the character didn't really seem to learn any life altering lessons, or change anything about her life that she was unhappy with.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1fd3930) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2471138) out of 5 stars What A Great Movie Aug. 20 2003
By David A. Dein - Published on
Format: DVD
Film has a quality unlike any other medium to catch and hold life. There is something about the grain in the picture that feels so much more realistic than video. It's one of the reasons I have a natural love of film and why I love films like Robert Siegel's (The Line) SWIMMING. A literate and beautiful postcard of one summer in the life of Frankie Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose, Can't Hardly Wait).
Frankie has lived in Myrtle Beach for her entire life. She's left it only once to visit her parents who had moved to Arizona to retire. Her parents used to run a restaurant that catered to the tourists who crowd the beaches in the summer. When they retired they left the restaurant to Frankie and her brother Neil (Josh Pais, A Beautiful Mind), whom keep it running `til this day.
Frankie is the kind of girl whose kind of shy and introverted and a tad bit homely. Which makes her best friend Nicola (Jennifer Dundas, Changing Lanes) the exact opposite. Nicola is outgoing and kind of sexy but she cares deeply for Frankie, and is willing to spite others who may be out to lose her friend. But when Josee (Joelle Carter, High Fidelity), a new girl blows into town and starts to get closer to Frankie, it test the two best friends loyalty.
This is Ambrose's movie. She embodies the right characteristics to play Frankie with such sweet and strong confidence. She commands the movie without trying too hard. She grows and changes without fireworks and `beat over your head' sentiment. How does she make it look so easy?
There is not one moment you can isolate out of this movie and point to as the reason why this movie works because her performance is that good. You don't give a damn about a plot holes, silly dialogue or various subplots that go nowhere, because you naturally care for Frankie as a human, not just as some film character. You want to see her grow, you want to see her smile, and you just want to be there to watch as her life unfolds.
SWIMMING doesn't attempt to give you clear-cut excuses for what's going on? I liked that. I liked not having to figure out why a minor character had to talk to an invisible guy. I liked that Frankie and Josee's relationship isn't quite clear. I like that the movie just let little moments happen, with absolutely no need for stunning revelations.
What a great movie SWIMMING is. I Highly recommend it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa334b090) out of 5 stars Relaxed... June 21 2004
By a reader - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this movie. The other reviewers are right, I guess the story could be seen as boring. But if you care about the characters, then it's not. It's a typical teenage movie in a sense that the crisis is a relationship struggle which seems petty to everyone else but to a self-involved teen is important. So there's no graphic violence or sex, just relationships. The characters are not typical teenage-movie stereotypes, though.
The ambience of the film is great. It's got a laid-back feel and strange characters. Like I said, the main plot is about a relationship, but I love the scenery, it reminded me of family vacations past.
This is not a life-changing movie. Don't expect to get shaken up, and if you really need directors to prode you to love their characters then you'll be dissappointed. It's an extrememly well-made, pleasant diversion and character-study. It's got great songs, too, btw. Highly recommended. At least rent it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2474240) out of 5 stars Swimming is subtle, provocative. June 29 2007
By Sarah Young - Published on
Format: DVD
I agree with one of the other reviewers in regard to the lesbianism issue. I don't think Frankie's reaction to Josee is attributable to latent lesbian tendancies. I think she likes Josee because she represents to Frankie the notion of sexual enagagement - really more with men than with women - and her attention to Josee's modes of operating contributes, somewhat ironically, to an awakening of her own heterosexuality. However, there is certainly enough well-crafted ambiguity in the movie to read the situation many different ways. It is wonderful when Frankie opens the back door of the hippie guy's van and steps into the morning sunshine to walk to work, how we are left wondering whether or not she had sex with him the previous night. It's interesting to consider why he glowed with a smile when she approached him unexpectedly on the street a few days later. The movie elicits the question "did they do it, did they do it?" in viewers' minds in a really tasteful way, but we never quite conclude the answer definitively. I even sensed the possibility that Nicola, Frankie's hapless best friend, might hook up with the hippie guy at the end, finally meeting a sensitive male with which to share her romantic, dramatic self.

Josee is in many ways just as complicated as Frankie, and I got the feeling that if any character in the movie was truely a lesbian, it was Josee. But I certainly don't think that Josee is as much of an opportunistic user of others as some reviewers here have expressed. I felt she was confused and a needy, operating in some ways out of survival (while well-disguised) rather than with a motive to exploit others for her own gain. I also felt that she displayed moments of loyalty to Frankie, just as Nicola did. For instance, after the shallow, jealous lifeguard comes into the restaurant and calls Frankie 'ugly' when she refuses to answer his questions about Josee's where-abouts, Josee comforts her, then trashes his apartment and leaves him. We don't quite know if Josee does it as a response to the confrontation between Frankie and the lifeguard, or independent of it, but the possibility of loyalty is there.

Ambiguity as a plot device is rarely utilized as well as it was in this movie. And as an actress, Lauren Ambrose skillfully and insightfully mediates between the wayward supporting characters around her and her own character's internal conflict to deliver a fine performance, moody and complex, like her performance on Six Feet Under. This is a special film.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23e27c8) out of 5 stars Realistic Coming-of-Age Flick Feb. 18 2006
By Wuchak - Published on
Format: DVD
Released in 2000, "Swimming" (as in 'sink or swim') is a slice-of-life coming-of-age indie flick centered around the life of Frankie, played by Lauren Ambrose, who co-owns a small Myrtle Beach restaurant/bar with her older brother, Neil. Frankie is about 18 or 19 and is trying to find her place, purpose and identity in the world. She could be pretty but has no sense of style or charisma. She just kind of innocently mopes around. Her best friend is sexy wild-child Nicola (Jennifer Dundas), who runs a body-piercing salon next to the restaurant.

When the ultra-sexy Josee (Joelle Carter) strolls into town it stirs up the curiosity of Frankie, the jealousy of Nicola and the lust of Neil and every other man, except Heath, a tie-dyed shirt salesman who lives in his van with his dogs. Heath is a grunge/stoner and only has eyes for Frankie.

"Swimming" is a quiet little indie film, but the story is strangely engrossing. If you're older than 25 it accurately brings to memory those fun-yet-dreadful 'coming-of-age' years (if you're younger than 25 you're STILL coming of age). The characters are all believable and it's almost as if you know them; consequently, you care about their lives and their story. Although this is a drama there's a few amusing moments.

The character of Josee is interesting. She's ravishing, confident and overflowing with charisma. She knows this and uses it to her advantage to get whatever she wants. For example, she entices the lifeguard so she can have a free place to stay by the beach and charms Neil for a waitress job even though he doesn't need anyone, not to mention she's a lousy worker. She also charms Frankie in more than one sense. Josee instinctively senses that Frankie is kind of lost and that she can 'wow' her with her star appeal. Frankie becomes somewhat star-struck and it negatively affects her relationship with Nicola.

A reviewer on IMDb wrongly deduced that Frankie is a butch lesbian and just doesn't realize it yet. This is an inaccurate interpretation and I'll tell you why (it's obvious): Josee realizes the power she has over Frankie and is indeed attempting to stir her love and desire, and not just on a friendship level. You see, Josee feeds off of desire, from both men and women, regardless of the nature of the desire. It's clear in the film that, out of curiosity, Frankie briefly (yet seriously) considers the idea of lesbianism, such is the alluring power of Josee. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Ultimately, however, she rejects it. Josee's spell over Frankie is broken once Frankie sees her true selfish, using and fickle nature. Frankie then re-focuses her romantic energy on heath and restores her friendship with party-girl Nicola, who had gotten into trouble with the law.***END SPOILER***

Josee's character is well portrayed in the laugh-out-loud scene where she's having sex with someone. The guy is passionately into it, but Josee is obviously quite bored by the experience (in her mind she's just paying her room & board). It's hilarious and so true-to-life.

I can see why some people give "Swimming" a mediocre grade because, as a realistic slice-of-life drama, it's often mundane like real-life, but this is part of its appeal IMHO.

Interestingly, although Frankie is portrayed in a very unattractive manner in the film, Lauren Ambrose is actually a beautiful redhead; google pictures of her and you'll see.

The film runs 90 minutes and was shot on the South Carolina coast in Myrtle Beach & Georgetown.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3493e28) out of 5 stars Slow but good July 8 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
I agree with the others and will say that at times the film was a little boring but I thought it was one of the few recent good indepedent films. I thought it was a good take on what happens in real life.

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