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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The best story about an HIV positive Olympic medal winner, bar none.

Author: BentCrewStreak from The Bent Crew
10 February 2004



I was forced to watch this movie one night when my friend Finner said he wanted to watch it for a "research project" he was working on. During certain scenes of Mario Lopez in his swim attire, Finner was working something alright....but I digress. I was very glad I sat through this movie, as I felt my heart sing out with joy as the vibrant storytelling seemed to leap out at me.

From this movie, I learned that diving is more than just jumping into a pool at a really good angle. It's about internal struggle. It's about heartache. Most of all, however, it's about redemption. Star making performance from Mr. Lopez, who as you already know, later shot to stratospheric superstardom in the brilliant "America's Most Talented Kid". This is a truly inspiring film, and indeed, one of the ages. Not to be missed.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

GREAT DRAMA

9/10
Author: mntwister from Minnesota
11 November 2004

This is a great movie. Not a happy one, mind you, but very well directed and full of emotion. I was very impressed that this was a TV movie. The only thing distracting to me was the changing back and forth from video to film, I think it would have seemed more like a movie without the video. A very touching true story of courage and sadness, of dispair and hardship,and of hope. Excellent performances and great musical score works perfectly with the story.

I was expecting more or less a "lifetime" type movie but while it has that type of theme, this was an impressive bit of film-making. It also helps to know the real Greg oversaw the entire story and made sure that it was accurate, so you know you are getting a real "true" story. Highly recommend.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating true-life story deserved better

3/10
Author: Libretio
26 January 2000

BREAKING THE SURFACE: THE GREG LOUGANIS STORY (1996)

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Sound format: Stereo

Despite acting as co-consultant, Olympic diver Greg Louganis is short-changed by Steven Hilliard Stern's conveyor belt TV movie, based on the sportsman's bestselling autobiography. The film tells a remarkable tale, encompassing everything from Louganis' struggle with his sexuality and his troubled family life, his long-term relationship with an abusive lover/manager, his Olympic triumphs, and ultimately his HIV positive status. In the title role, Mario Lopez is engaging and sympathetic, and he certainly *looks* spectacular, but the entire cast (veterans and newcomers alike) simply go through the motions - there's no passion. In fact, the characters are mere ciphers and the sentimentality is contrived and unconvincing. And do we really need another cringe-making TV movie which is too cowardly to show gay characters demonstrating even the most basic affection for one another? Maybe a cable production would have handled the story with a level of honest commitment that's sadly absent here. That said, the film is competent and watchable, if only because Louganis' story is *so* incredible, but viewers looking for the unvarnished truth might be better off reading the book instead.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Both Patrick David and Mario Lopez portray Greg Louganis with great acting ability.

9/10
Author: james362001 from Lancaster, California
14 February 2002

A beautiful and brilliant film. Mario Lopez's acting ability is incredible and plays Greg Louganis with such sensitivity and emotion. Breaking The Surface: The Greg Louganis Story could have been made into a big-budget motion picture, but even in this era, Hollywood still seems to be unwilling and sheepish of telling a true story about an adult male with an alternative lifestyle who unwillingly gets HIV/AIDS. Patrick David played a convincing performance as well.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Informative Bio

7/10
Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio USA
26 March 1999

"Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story" contains much information on this famous American Olympic diving champion. It covers not only his professional career but also his formative years as a youngster. His home background includes his relationship with his foster parents, and presents incidents which helped shape the athlete's adult attitudes and behaviors. Alan Hines' script tends to be uncommonly sad and sentimental; indeed, to go by Hines, this champ certainly did not have much fun either as a child or adolescent. In fact, his adult life was also depicted as being loaded with dismal challenges. It's all a rather gloomy picture painted of this celebrity, who appears to be a very nice guy having one sad thing after another happen to him. Still, the TV script claims to be based on a book coauthored by Louganis himself, so one hopes that this presentation is reasonably authentic. Mario Lopez acquits himself well as a sensitive, grown up Louganis.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Brave...

6/10
Author: lambiepie-2 from Los Angeles, CA
5 December 2005

When I was growing up, the networks had a biography of "somebody" going on almost every week. They were pretty decent, not blockbuster type stuff, from what I could remember, even though they were done on a shoestring budget. I learned much about folks through those. very informative which made up for much. But isn't that what these kind of TV movies are about? Today I caught The Greg Louganis Story on cable and it reminded me of those bio-pics.

It had to be something for Mr. Louganis to write a book about his life -- let alone do a film about the good and bad of it. There is not question that he is the best diver in United States History and worked as hard as heck to get that way - and that came though in this film. What also came through was his struggles - family, inner and just wanting to be loved while being professional and becoming a top grade athlete. I cannot tell you how sad it made me to see how some folks are just out to take advantage of others who work hard, and how devastating it became when Mr. Louganis was diagnosed with HIV. But the triumph came though the film as he did find a voice and let us all in on everything personal as well as professional.

Mario Lopez did a wonderful job in this film as well as Michael Murphy as his father. This is a TV movie about the trials of a superior athlete and his personal wins and failures as well. It was very brave of him to open himself to everyone but by doing so I am sure he has helped those who have the same struggles as well. Good TV Movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very inspiring - but not a great cinematic experience

Author: Chris Campbell from Coventry, England
17 June 1999

Despite the stigma the film attracts by being a "TV movie", Breaking The Surface is well worth a look. I read Greg Louganis' autobiography before I saw the movie, and I must admit that there were distinct advantages and disadvantages with both. The poetry of Louganis' sport was much more evident in the film - but there was a much more personal account of the man in the book. Mario Lopez acquits himself well here, and I hope he will begin to move onto better things. The rest of the performances are adequate, nothing more. The film has a distinct "not-for-the-cinema" feel about it, which is why it will never reach a greater audience than those who come across it in their movie store, or are channel-hopping and realise that the biopic of "that guy who hit his head in the Seoul Olympics Diving Board" is on.

All of this is a pity - because the movie has a lot to offer, inspiration, a lovely sense of tension, and real believability in one of this decade's true inspirations.

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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

they picked the wrong actor.

7/10
Author: Hunky Stud
1 May 2004

mario lopez is not gay enough for this movie. and he doesn't act like Greg louganis at all. Watching him on the screen is like watching a straight guy doing drag, it just doesn't feel authentic. And you can just tell when he felt that he needs to act gay, and when he just acted as if he is himself, but not the Louganis. And when he tries to talk like a feminine gay guy, it just doesn't feel nature. So I think that he should stop trying to be gay, he simply can't act like a gay. And his body is more a bodybuilder type, rather than the actual diver type body. However, The casting director picked the right boy and the right teenage actor. The boy can act. And the teenage actor is so obviously gay, and it feels real to see him as Greg. he also has a swimmer's body to match, too.

This is a TV film about a diver, but it doesn't have lots of skin scenes, if you know what i mean. :)

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Bomb

2/10
Author: sandover from Greece
22 September 2009

It is good to sprinkle a bio-pic with real footage. And that's it. The film is so cliché ridden it's suffocating! If a true-account-story has an aim, why, I suppose it has to be something about how one is entangled in history and what this means as maturing, taking decisions and, well, how truth collides with reality to put it that way. Not about a cardboard rough father, a pathetic quasi-phobic mother, a oh-so-gay-in-the-blinking-way young Greg, and a, now manly, now paper thin gay older Greg, a quite off the wall manic,obvious lover - they are not even cartoons, let alone characters! If this is a truly supervised account, then one can't really feel sympathy for this portrait. Unfortunately bad

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