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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I recommend it!

8/10
Author: bk-12
13 March 2003

I saw this film along with 600 other people, at its premier in Newport, Rhode Island. People laughed and a lot of people cried because the movie evoked emotions in everyone. I enjoyed the film very much and found that the audience could identify with the characters. The story of Morris Bird III and his somewhat dysfunctional family never failed to keep me throughly involved in the story, right up until the sad, but uplifting ending. I recommend it! Pearl Gonzalez

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Beautiful

Author: erinlungs from Perth, Western Australia
21 July 2004

I too thought this was going to be the Aussie version but I was totally surprised and also amazed at this beautiful film. My sister and I sat and watched this together and by the end we were in tears as it was so touching and so well done. I think it is worth taking the time to see it. It deals with human emotion from the eyes of a 17 year old boy who comes from a dysfunctional family yet still finds it possible to rise above this and see life for what it can be. The best friend was an added bonus making light of a bad situation and keeping things linked. If not for anything else watch this for the amazing views shown throughout. See it for yourself as I did and and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Excellent tear-jerker

Author: Tom McDonough from Boston, MA
1 June 2004

I went to the world premiere of SWIMMING UPSTREAM in Newport RI, but I missed most of the third act because my lady friend was slobbering so loudly. And well she should. SWIMMING UPSTREAM is the heart wrenching story of a 17 year old boy who is stricken with terminal leukemia and how he deals with this tragedy. Brilliantly written and directed by Robert Emery, the film is set in Bristol RI where it was also filmed. Emery does an excellent job of keeping the film ever poignant without letting it become maudlin. The cast is headed by newcomer Matt Czuchry who delivers a stellar performance as the unfortunate youngster. The fine supporting cast is headed by Michael Moriarty and Kelly Rutherford as the young man's father and sister. Elisabeth Harnois delivers yet another Oscar caliber performance as the boy's girlfriend. For my money, this little gal is far and away the best actress of the current crop of starlets. And what a cutie pie! SWIMMING UPSTREAM is a beautiful film. Truly beautiful. Don't miss it.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent storytelling

10/10
Author: se-2 from USA
13 March 2003

I had the pleasure of seeing this film. Thank goodness for filmmakers who are not afraid to tell real stories. To give the plot away is to ruin the film for anyone who can appreciate intelligent storytelling. I will say that parts of it are sad, but it is about life and how we all touch each other, one way or another. Two-time EMMY winner Michael Moriarty turns in a wonderful, mature performance. I recommend it for all ages, from twelve on up.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Lovely family drama that we can all relate to.

10/10
Author: se-2
9 July 2004

This film is full of heart. I enjoyed the cast and the story line. This is a story that almost any adult or teenager can relate to. The small new england town is beautiful. Morris is the main character and has many issues to deal with at a young age. His girlfriend and his sister are the people who help his growth. His father is trying to make up for all the bad times. Morris has a best friend played by Ben Savage who shares all the ups and downs with him. There are laughs and there are tears too. It is easy to get involved in this story and just enjoy it. I hope others can enjoy this film too.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Compelling & Beautifully Acted Story

8/10
Author: Aqtania-1 from United States
11 November 2006

This film is a very moving and thought provoking story about a young man's tragic misfortunes. It is also a lesson in life on how to deal with life's setbacks. First of all, if possible, see the film from the uncut DVD. The television version is heavily edited and loses some of the film's subtle story power. This film should be required viewing for anyone suffering from domestic parental problems or alcohol abuse. The acting is quite impressive here. Matt Czuchry gives a very memorable, believable and heart wrenching performance as Morris. This gifted, athletic charmer is suddenly confronted with a life altering tragedy that coupled with problems at home would be too much for most people. What a wonderful, smooth, beautiful performance Czuchry gives here. The viewer is on Morris' side throughout, pulling for him all the way. This is an early role for Czuchry but his natural acting talent is clearly visible. The supporting cast all contribute well too. Kelly Rutherford is excellent as Morris' sister and has a very nice on-screen chemistry with Czuchry. Michael Moriarty is very effective as the father engendering both hate and love from the viewers during this film. Ben Savage and Matt Czuchry have a great scene that shows the love and friendship that can be so deep between childhood friends. All the other actors were also excellent. This surprisingly moving film was totally enjoyable to watch. The dramatic story coupled with a message of strength, hope and love is a good message from which we can all learn. I came away with an admiration for the strength of Morris Bird III and a deep appreciation for the considerable acting talent of Matt Czuchry. Very well done here.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Film!

8/10
Author: prairiedances from New York
11 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was presently surprised by this film. The acting and writing while a little campy at first grows into a beautiful story. An early Matt Czuchry gives a moving and heart wrenching performance as Morris and seemingly normal teenager who's life is altered dramatically. Ben Savage does well as his best friend- Savage has a talent in comedy. Kelly Rutherford and Moriarty lighten up the screen with moving performances. Especially the last moment between father and son. I liked Elisabeth Harnois from "My Date with the President's Daughter" and she does a good turn here but the storyline between her and Morris has been overdone. Buy the DVD now out and not the edited version on the TV. Personally, I think the alternate ending found on the DVD works better for the film and not the original ending.

One thing that I disliked about this movie was the music by Steven P. Wolf. It was horrible and distracted the viewer from what was occurring on screen. The soccer game which is suppose to be an important part in the film had me wishing it would end just so the sappy, overpowering music in the background would stop.

Great movie though, worth seeing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Overdone plot, but sensitive and real acting

7/10
Author: jcservant7 from United States
4 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just saw this movie at my mom's on Lifetime Movie Network. I expected another one of those dreary, sad, depressing, and just plain down movies. I was pleasantly surprised. Michael Moriarity is just plain good with that unique voice of his, and his portrayal of the drunk dad was quite well done. I was also impressed with the acting ability of Matt Czuchry, and I have always liked Ben Savage. The scene where they are talking about love is one of the best ways I have ever seen that two male friends can profess to love each other. It was a private moment, and the long camera shot of them running to each other, and then Ben telling Matt that he loves him, and then the embrace.. what can I say, it was moving and well done. Perhaps being a gay man, it is something that I once experienced, and was moved.

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unoriginal

3/10
Author: hendrikje-schuett from Australia
12 January 2011

Not horrible, but far from great. Very predictable storyline (and there are better films to see if you're into this sort of movie). Ben Savage was definitely the stand-out with the only fun character in the entire thing. Must mention the horrible score and general music selection throughout the entire film. Their purpose is to underline a certain emotion with subtle tunes. This failed here to the point where I was hoping that the horrible seemingly never ending non-stop background music would stop already. Everyone's acting seemed good enough, but there are too many other bad things about it that the acting alone wouldn't safe the film for me.

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An uplifting story of a family dealing with personal tragedy

9/10
Author: rms7-584-490430 from United States
17 November 2009

This was a gem of a movie with a strong cast. It deals with family dynamics in a painfully honest manner. Although appearing to be formulaic it is not. Parents of teenagers will enjoy and benefit from watching this movie. It also a love story which which appeal to the romantic viewer.

The story unfolds slowly until you are taken in with the characters and the family secrets that unfold. set in Rode Island the 4th of July makes a good backdrop for the story lines woven through out the film.

the film touches on a broad range of topics including virginity, death, suicide, euthanasia, cancer, teen pregnancy, sibling love, and friendship.

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