In the wake of a wild bachelor party, Fredrik discovers his passion for synchronized swimming. Convincing his floorball teammates to join him as Sweden's only all-male team, they set their sights on the world championships in this oddball, comedic tale of courage, triumph and gender role reversal. Written by
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Warm, quirky, loaded with clichés, but a fun and different sidetrip for sure
The Swimsuit Issue (2008)
A fun, funny, lightweight but also delightful comedy with a strain of seriousness to give it some stickiness. I liked it, yes, though it's no critical masterpiece. The writing is fun and a little awkward (in Swedish or English), the plot a hair over the top, and the acting uneven. But hey, just like the main characters (members of an ad hoc Swedish male synchronized swim team) it has no pretensions.
And that's a relief. You want some fun? You want a view of a slightly different kind of Europe (and a different kind of Sweden if you are used to dour comedies and even more dour dramas)? See this. Fun and engaging.
The idea of the male swimmers suddenly taking on the world cup with their bumbling and barely rehearsed routine is part of why the silliness succeeds. You can't take it seriously. Don't expect an "Invictus" ending here where the good guys sweep it away (though by not expecting it, you never know). This is more about humility and hope and, in the one interpersonal focus, a father and daughter learning about each other.
In fact, the one actor who steals her scenes is the one key female, the daughter, played by Maria Langhammer. All the men--eight or nine--blur just a little, though there are three or so with central roles. What you might wish is that the interactions and subplots weren't so clichéd--the striving loser, the affected star, the stoic leader. All the bonding is heartwarming I suppose, and the gay jokes are funny but a bit thin. It's an uneven affair all around, with the hilarious hook that the synchronized team starts off at a party doing their stunt as a joke in women's bathing suits.
If only they had kept up their bumbling non-pretenses! We'd have something closer to the brilliance of "The Full Monty" than we end up with here, becoming instead more and more a sports movie, which is just plain weird when you see how it all got started in the first funny half hour.
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