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Swimming
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Reviews & Ratings for
Swimming More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Very Very Excellent!!

Author: Vertigo-27 from NC
12 July 2003

ANYONE that has ever been to Myrtle Beach, SC can relate to this movie more than the average viewer. There is something in the air almost that generates youth and nostalgia through you while visiting and when you leave you are never quite the same. In the opening reel you see young teenagers cruising the boulevard and haunting by-passers on the beach that make one realize in a single instant while there (a place where we all connect) just how many people we pass by never getting to know.

This film touches greatly on rich characters... Franky the main character is deep and forlorn. We are directly put into someones shoes through her of how it must be to actually "live" in a place we all wish we could stay. Instead of being the "vacationers" as in most movies we get to see a residents point of view. An exceptional character is also the girl who seemingly befriends Franky, coming in to town shaking her up and confusing her just when she thought she wanted a little bit of change. This girl is a true character she symbolizes most people and how they are clueless to most depth of life.. she can be described as those shallow "fly-by-night" people that we have all encountered that you wish and think might stay but in the end they never do. Franky's romantic involvement with new-age hippi Heath is right-on target and pulls the story to its closure.

The main point of the story is very much what I described near the beginning. In the movie Franky never swims, even being asked 5 or 6 times. Near the end she simply states that it would be weird if she leaves because she will not have the ocean to swim in, as it has always been in her own backyard. This is the eye-opening truth in all of our lives... we take for granted what others see. And just like her old friendship with Nicola that seemed tired when the new girl arrived... Franky got a taste of not dealing with Nicola but soon realized that you can't easily say goodbye to something you will always remember.

This movie is highly under-rated (as are alot of non-blockbusters these days). It is great to see a movie filmed in the South at one of the best and most popular beaches in the world. "Shag" (Another great movie) was also filmed in Myrtle Beach, however it is taken from the "visitors" point of view and we don't get to see and feel what it is like to be trapped in somewhere so wonderful and still want out.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One-of-a-kind. Smart, funny, touching, unpretentious.

Author: johnsaff from New York, New York
5 December 2001



Movies churned out by Hollywood that pretend to explore the inner lives of characters often have them talking ad nauseam about their `feelings,' with a perspective on themselves that a good therapist rarely has. In Swimming, director Robert Siegel allows us to discover and experience the character and the film, rather than shoving it all down our throats.

With honesty and subtlety, Swimming captures a pivotal time in everybody's lives when we're caught between youth and adulthood. It's told from the point of view of a young woman, played to perfection by the amazing Lauren Ambrose, who, after her work in this film, is movie star material.

Swimming also eschews the usual cheesy sappiness and manages to be genuinely sweet, charming, and truly uplifting, not to mention funny. It's also great to see an indie film which is smart and sophisticated, without feeling it has to be `hip.'

If you're looking for a bubble gum teen film, then stay away from Swimming; but if you want to see a movie that respects your intelligence and will have you feeling better about life, this movie is for you.

Great production, strong script, beautiful cinematography, graceful direction, and every performance is terrific.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Better than expected

7/10
Author: rbverhoef (rbverhoef@hotmail.com) from The Hague, Netherlands
5 October 2003

'Swimming' is a little different than other movies in the genre. You expect certain things to happen but they don't. Frankie (Lauren Ambrose) and Nicola (Jennifer Dundas Lowe) live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and are best friends. Frankie is co-owner of a burger stand together with her brother Neil (Josh Pais). Nicola has a piercing stand next to the burger stand. A friend of them, Brad (James Villemaire) has a new girlfriend Josee (Joelle Carter) and she gets a job in the burger stand although Neil thinks she is the worst waitress he has ever seen.

Frankie and Josee become good friends and Nicola gets jealouse. May be Frankie and Josie are even attracted to each other. They are not sure and the watcher isn't sure either. Nicola says that Josee has an affair with Neil, who has a wife and two kids. Then Frankie meets Heath (Jamie Harrold) who lives in a van with his two dogs and is in love with her. Frankie isn't sure what she wants and feels.

The movie is good enough because the clichés are only used for a more interesting story. We see how uncertain Frankie is about her sexuality, how unsure she is. Lauren Ambrose gives a very fine performance. The rest of the cast is good too. I think the movie could have had a better ending but it was definitely not a bad one. Pretty good and a lot better than I expected it to be.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Better than that!

Author: publicparks from Wisconsin
20 September 2003



I suppose this is a coming of age movie, and that it therefore ought to show some maturation in its principal subject. But, heck, "Swimming" does.

Frankie starts out almost devoid of self-confidence, hiding her body in baggy clothes and her self behind her older brother and his bossiness, letting her friends boss her too, unless one of them asks her to assert herself, become conspicuous, risk rejection.

Thanks to new relationships, with a girl who, despite having some good and loving impulses, is using her attractiveness to manipulate both Frankie and her older brother, and with a somewhat goofy guy who is not at all manipulative, Frankie finds the grit to stand up to her brother and to both her old girlfriend and her new one -- to assert herself and to act to change her world. She even finds the courage to cut her old friend a lot of slack.

The setting of the story and the secondary characters are almost too gritty and "realistic," but all the actors -- and especially Lauren Ambrose -- perform well and even a weird Marine (Anthony Ruivivar, now playing in "Third Watch" on TV) is almost believable.

I enjoyed this movie a lot! I must add that I am grateful to Sundance for showing this film on TV.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If you like Lauren Ambrose in Six Feet Under, you'll love her in Swimming.

Author: gones from Port Chester, New York
20 December 2001

I just recently caught Swimming at a preview screening, dragged by my girlfriend and what a surprise! This thoughtful, understated film quietly brings you into the lives of its characters with the honesty and sincerity of true acceptance. Lauren Ambrose is simply amazing as Frankie,a Myrtle Beach townie, whose life goes through some real turns during one summer. What's so good about the film is that it's like real life. None of the ususual movie Dramatics. Yet in the end, you can totally feel the experience of Frankie's change and that's what makes Swimming so satisfying in this day of special effects laiden Hollywood spectacles. Gentle, charming and really moving Swimming is a subtle gem.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

engaging story, excellent acting

8/10
Author: Lynolipop from New York, NY
10 December 2001

I really enjoyed this film. I found it a lovely and touching story about growing up and learning to feel comfortable in one's own skin and of how the people we love during the course of our lives touch us and change us. I thought the story was quite good and the acting and direction were excellent. I would definitely recommend

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A smart, lovingly rendered, savy little film that really comes to life.

9/10
Author: jackstanton311 from new york
11 January 2002

Swimming is an intelligent and moving film which treats familiar subject matter in an unfamiliar way. The story of a local beach townie's rites of passage is told with meaning, charm and dimension. It is emotionally rich enough for both men and women to identify with the lead character, Frankie, wonderfully played by Lauren Ambrose, who will surely emerge as a major star. The role is an extremely difficult one, to which Lauren brings depth and emotional nuance. A good deal of credit for her performance belongs to the understated direction and very well thought out screenplay. The film is moving, charming, funny at times but mostly a fulfilling view of life that one rarely encounters in contemporary cinema. It takes its time to tell its story and in the end leaves the audience, certainly myself, feeling uplifted and satisfied. If Swimming gets to your vicinity, make a point of seeing it. It's worth the trip to the theater.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An engaging movie with unique and appealing characters.

8/10
Author: ABurke-1 from Brooklyn, New York
30 November 2001

I loved the way this movie delved into relationships between people. Compared to some coming-of-age movies, where characters seem to fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat, I thought this movie did a great job of helping you reflect on what qualities attract us to other people. Also, I found the sometimes quirky characters appealing and realistic. Overall, it was an engaging story of an adolescent's girls search for identity.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Captures a difficult moment with grace and insight

8/10
Author: gspeakout from California USA
28 November 2001

It's a rare film that touches on coming of age and the important lessons about learning whom to trust with such restraint and respect for the characters. Lauren Ambrose is eloquent even when she's silent. I'll use it in my work with girls and young women

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding

10/10
Author: tbux 50
10 November 2001

Great performance by Lauren Ambrose.Loved the film, a different kind of coming of age story.Robert Siegel has brought a gentle sensitivity to what could have been just another genre film, very poetic and gentle.

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