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Girls Can't Swim (2000)
"Les filles ne savent pas nager" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 October 2000 (France)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 516 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 13 user | 21 critic | 13 from

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 »


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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. <>

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  »

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User Reviews

Excellent Evoking of Teens on a Serious Summer Vaction
6 December 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Girls Can't Swim (Les filles ne savent pas nager)" gets a lot right about teens, in a debut by writer/director Anne-Sophie Birot:

The endless summer feeling of life Down the Shore (only here the Shore is at Brittany so there's no Bruce Springsteen music, let alone any beach music).

The implied class tensions between townies and seasonals.

The restless rebellion of adolescence, particularly as bursting sensuality.

The casual back-and-forth between parents and teens as the kids alternate between neediness and independence, complicated by the parents' own financial and relationship problems.

And most particularly the exaggerated passions of teen girl friendship.

But the aimlessness of summer vacation is mimicked too much in the pacing, with an abrupt culmination that's not fair to the characters. I must have missed the explanation for the title.

Clearly Eric Rohmer's "Pauline on the Beach" has haunted today's French women filmmakers as this is the second such movie I've seen in a year that feels like an angry response to that sage putting a teen girl amidst adult sharks, after "Fat Girl (a ma soeur)."

(originally written 5/11/2002)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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