13 user 21 critic

Girls Can't Swim (2000)

Les filles ne savent pas nager (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 18 October 2000 (France)
Gwen is a teenager living in a small coastal town. Lise is her best friend, a city girl who comes every year with her family to spend the summer. This year things are different though; at ... See full summary »


On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Camille, 17, is caravan camping with her family at a lake in Gironde, where she's bored, pouty, and, toward her parents, foul-mouthed and rebellious. Her summer boyfriend, Fred, seems too ... See full summary »

Directors: Christophe Ali, Nicolas Bonilauri
Stars: Denis Lavant, Isild Le Besco, Pascal Bongard
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A girl from bourgeoisie discovers the pleasures of banditism, following her lover in his lifestyle.

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Isild Le Besco, Ouassini Embarek, Nicolas Duvauchelle
Backstage (2005)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An adolescent groupie zeroes in on her Blondie-like idol after the singer chances to cross her orbit on a publicity tour. Gradually their lives intertwine as, with near-operatic intensity, ... See full summary »

Director: Emmanuelle Bercot
Stars: Emmanuelle Seigner, Isild Le Besco, Noémie Lvovsky
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Following the arrival of a deaf and mute vagrant, a young woman, Josephine, disappears from her family estate. She follows him deep into the woods even though she seems to be disgusted by him, but does Josephine want to follow him?

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Isild Le Besco, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Jérôme Kircher
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Marie leaves home to study the piano at the conservatory in Lyons. Through lack of money, she is obliged to share an apartment with Emma, a friend of the family who has lived alone since ... See full summary »

Director: Sophie Laloy
Stars: Judith Davis, Marc Chapiteau, Fabienne Babe
Sade (2000)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man prepares himself to be transferred to a detention center and rest home where he will relive one more time the highlights of his youth.

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Marianne Denicourt, Jeanne Balibar
Man at Bath (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Between Gennevilliers and New York, Omar and Emmanuel go to great lengths to prove to each other they're no longer in love.

Director: Christophe Honoré
Stars: François Sagat, Omar Ben Sellem, Chiara Mastroianni
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

On the day she celebrates her birthday, Jeanne, a young actress, is told by her mother her father is an Indian she once met on the banks on the river Ganges. From then on, Jeanne acts with ... See full summary »

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Isild Le Besco, Bérangère Bonvoisin, Marc Barbé
Adolphe (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The action takes place at the turn of the 19th Century. Adolphe (Stanislas Merhar) is a carefree, somewhat jaded 22-year-old... See full synopsis »

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Stanislas Merhar, Jean Yanne
The Repentant (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Laetitia Masson
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sami Frey, Samy Naceri
Metamorphoses I (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A girl is approached by a strange boy outside her high school. He asks her to follow him to hear stories where gods fall in love with human beings.

Director: Christophe Honoré
Stars: Amira Akili, Sébastien Hirel, Mélodie Richard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A teenage girl from Paris decides to complete the aborted journey of a young man whom she secretly has a crush on.

Director: Raphaël Frydman
Stars: Isild Le Besco, Emmanuel Faventines, Raphaël Frydman


Credited cast:
Karen Alyx ...
Pascal Elso ...
Sandrine Blancke ...
Julien Cottereau ...
Dominique Lacarrière ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
France Besson
Damien Boenwec
Yves Claessens
Sylvie Contant
Youenn Dorval
Julien Honoré


Gwen is a teenager living in a small coastal town. Lise is her best friend, a city girl who comes every year with her family to spend the summer. This year things are different though; at first Lise might not come at all, and when she does it is obvious that Gwen grew up faster than she did. Written by Marcelo R. <marcelo_fpr@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 October 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Banot Lo Sohot  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,238 (USA) (19 April 2002)


$68,460 (USA) (15 November 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

it's so hard to get love...
16 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

In the end of the twentieth Century, the teenage movie came back into vogue in the landscape of the French cinema, this movie made by Anne-Sophie Birot confirms it and reveals her own approach in the content and form about the difficult condition of being a teenager.

By dividing her movie in 3 chapters, by delaying the meeting between the 2 main characters, Anne Sophie Birot takes the viewer by surprise. In the first 2 parts, the female director takes her time to draw the portrait of her 2 young interprets and to place them in their respective family circles before making them meet. Their families don't belong to the same social level but are eventually similar on one point: they're on the verge of disintegration. First, Gwen whose family background is very modest. She is lovely and by embarking on overnight love affairs, she knows her first sexual excitements. It's for her the sole way to escape from a tense familial cocoon between a lazy and alcoholic father and a mother who does her best to make ends meet. Now about Lise, the big house in which she lives makes us deduce that she belongs to an upper-class category whose climate is hardly better than to Gwen's. The death of her father plunged her whole family in bitterness and sorrow. Her mother, especially seems to break into pieces. So, to escape this dreary universe, Lise, secretly goes by coach to meet her long-time friend...

As soon as the two friends are together for the holidays, the movie seems to go on, at first in this dreamy perspective. But bit by bit, disagreement grows, the tension that reigned in the two families has overwhelmed the two friends. As a result, there's a detachment and a distance from Lise. Anne Sophie Birot proceeds by little touches and with subtlety to let suggest the reasons of this split. Very simply, Lise is jealous of Gwen's beauty. It is the time of first teenage loves. Gwen is pretty, slender and has no trouble seducing boys whereas Lise due to her little attractive physical appearance is completely eclipsed by her friend when it comes to seduction. So, rancor, jealousy even betrayal suffer into her which lead her to nearly separation with her all time confidant and the director isn't afraid to end her work with an abrupt ending which tips it out in blackness making the viewer feel unwell.

Once again, here's a movie which has the merit to show that it is not an easy thing to be in one's teenage years. Furthermore, real love seems to be omitted from the work. For example, Gwen seems to have love affairs with several boys, but it's more a means to assert herself to go away from a ponderous household . And the female director is buoyed up by her two young interprets whose roles seem to fit them like a glove. For the rest, I will retain this irregularity. According to Gwen, Lise is a brilliant student but in the beginning of the film, we learn that she failed at her GCSE. She handed in a blank sheet of paper but we don't know much about what might have explained her behavior. It would have been wiser and more consistent to make her pass her exam so as to solidify her personality and to better prepare the sequel.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Depressing and Dysfunctional anubis-45
Discuss Girls Can't Swim (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: