Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Swimming With Men (4 Stars)

This is a quaint British comedy about a group of middle-aged men who want to become the world champions for synchronised swimming. They'll only be the unofficial world champions, because synchronised swimming is only recognised as a sport for women. Does that make it the world's most sexist sport? I can't think of any other sports that are restricted to a single gender.

The main character is Eric Scott, an accountant and tax consultant who's bored with his job. His wife has just been elected to the town council, chipping away at his manhood. He suspects that his wife is having an affair with her boss on the council. This isn't the truth, she's completely faithful to her husband, but Eric is so paranoid that he leaves her and moves into a hotel.

Eric only has one pleasure in his life. Every day after work he goes swimming. At the swimming pool he meets a group of men in his own age who engage in synchronised swimming as a hobby. He joins the group and finds a new purpose in life.

This isn't a film that will make you laugh out loud, but you'll smile at its subtle humour. It pokes fun at typical British prejudices, even though it doesn't cross the line of political incorrectness. If men who are barely dressed hold each other's arms and legs in the water they must be gay, mustn't they? That's what we think.

The film claims to be based on a true story. It's only a vague connection. Five years ago a group of men in Sweden formed a group of synchronised swimmers and protested about not being able to compete officially. They organised unofficial championships against other countries. The Swedish team members appear in the film, playing themselves.

Click here to view the trailer.

Even though the film was made in England it was first shown in German cinemas, a month ahead of the UK release date. It's probably because of the World Cup. The UK release date has been delayed until the begin of the knockout phase when England will already have been eliminated.

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