Lonely aspirants on the LA singles scene hook up at their local grocery store, where they can see and be seen by some of their dubiously eligible fellow singles, all the while hoping for one magical relationship that will finally click...
Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.
The love life of Charlotte is reduced to an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets the perfect man, Kevin. Unfortunately, his merciless mother will do anything to destroy their relationship.
Amber is 40, beautiful, rich, spoiled, and arrogant beyond measure. Nothing makes this woman happy, including her wealthy but passive husband (Tony), a pharmaceutical kingpin. When Tony takes her on a private cruise from Greece to Italy, Amber is unimpressed at this impromptu no-frills vacation, and takes out her anger on the ship's first mate, Giuseppe. When a storm leaves the two shipwrecked on a deserted island, however, the tables suddenly turn... Written by
The critics were spineless in their analysis of this movie. Typically, critics posture as examples of open-mindedness, but quickly turn hypocritical when a story takes a view contrary to their own brand of en-vogue political correctness.
The media is perfectly willing to jump up and applaud dramatic material exploring social taboos ranging from child sex to four thousand different types of murder, but when it comes to exploring the raw and uninhibited relationship between a man and woman on a desert island, and the primal gender characteristics that evolve the relationship, they get scared and run for cover - because it does not promote their ever-chi chi uni-sexist agenda.
While not the best made film of 2002, this movie was actually an interesting story with a powerful statement about society, love and relationships, and on its own, takes a radical and even liberal look at these critical elements of our everyday lives.
In their run for cover, aside from directly and personally picking on Madonna and `her husband,' the socio-politically driven critics tended to haphazardly pick at various elements of the movie such as:
The film appears washed out - in my analysis, with this, the director found he could evoke a mood in the audience utilizing this effect. The white wash look imposed a hot, desert like feel which created a dry distaste of the lives the aristocrats were living. It sets up an underlying melodramatic tone that exudes in Madonna's character and reflects the harshness of her current life. Utilizing non-standard film traits is consistent stylistically with other Guy Ritchie films.
Madonna is too melodramatic - once again, intentional flavoring that adds contrast as her character arcs throughout the film. It also sets up the humor we find in her drastic transformation. It is only because she was a `super bitch' before that we can at first enjoy when the tables are turned. Our enjoyment, of course, quickly turns to concern when we feel that Giuseppe goes too far by our standards.
Unintentional humor - perhaps the audience is laughing at the very right time, yet the intently politically correct critic is simply offended that the audience finds these moments funny.
The plot is improbable - welcome to movie land. The majority of plots and stories in general are improbable.
About half the critical reviews I read admitted the reviewer's real problem with the movie and positioned the subject matter as dated, antediluvian, archaic, etc. This reflects their own fear that the movie might allude to some uncomfortable truths about human nature.
Swept Away simply, but brilliantly breaks two people down into their primal roles as a man and a woman. In the film, absent the rules of a structured society, the physically dominant man assumes a role as the hunter gatherer and uses/abuses this dominance to subordinate the female character that once tormented him. The woman, Amber, who had found her previous plastic life to be unsatisfying, falls dependant on Giuseppe and uncovers a deeper meaning to her existence in the form of an animalistic carnal attraction that surfaces and drives her to a passionate relationship with him. The movie, unfitting with modern social mores, suggests that innate gender biased traits can form the basis for truly passionate and meaningful love.
If we expound on this, the message is that men and women are inherently different and naturally gravitate to different roles in a relationship and that society, at least in some instances, can interfere with these deep rooted urges.
It is a gritty, believable, yet a bit uncomfortable suggestion that perhaps gender roles do offer some reward in society. It was enjoyable to watch, humorous at times and a little painful at others. I give the director the benefit of the doubt and can assume that I was guided well through the story.
The movie is far from perfect in that we don't particularly empathize greatly with any of the main characters, at least until the final few scenes of the movie, though I am not sure we are supposed to. Much of the dialog was not properly updated from the 70s to the 00s - the discussion about `chemicals' for example. Also, there are some embarrassingly poorly made scenes - such as when Amber and Giuseppe are supposed to be zipping along in a speed boat and there is not such as a hair moving on their heads, and every scene where the Mediterranean looks about as wavy as a backyard pool
One thing is for sure - the subject matter is surprisingly thought and discussion provoking and the movie is better than 98% of the other new release rentals out there. Rent it and talk about it.
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