Title: Swimming With Men Director: Oliver Parker Year: 2018 Run time: 1hr 36m
“Faced with a full-blown mid-life crisis, accountant Eric (Rob Brydon) joins an all-male group of synchronised swimmers, discovering that making patterns in a pool can, for a couple of hours at least, smooth out the bumps in his work and marriage. Initially keeping their personal lives in the locker, the ramshackle squad and coach Susan slowly learn to reveal their inner lives, as well as their paunches. But can they get their lives and routines in sync as they embark on an unlikely journey to Milan to compete in the World Championship?”
1:39 - Office jobs don’t have to be boring, Rob. 1:47 - How is he in an empty pool in London? 10:18 - “If you want the move to work, you have to lose a man.” Or get an extra one. 14:26 - Drunk shouting in the street is so bad. 18:40 - I like the idea you can just do a whole routine without knowing any of it. 24:47 - I have heard of the eggbeater thing. 24:59 - “No one talks about swim club.” 30:30 - Synchronised swimming is so weird as a spectator sport. 34:37 - Just to be always known as The New Guy. 40:37 - “You may well rue the day you asked me to do this.” 48:46 - Rupert Graves has turned into a bit of a silver fox. 54:42 - “They come over here, take our women, build our wardrobes.” 1:00:34 - In a boat, on a boat, never thought of that before. 1:09:32 - Good man sticking to his principles. 1:12:40 - Ooh, I do want to see some kind of swimming event. 1:19:00 - Liking their sleeveless hoodie things. 1:22:07 - Whoever cried at a synchronised swimming routine before? 1:32:39 - Can you protest against the meaningless of life? Who is that a protest against?
From our viewing perspective, this film was hurt by the fact that we watched it immediately after Tag. Completely different genres, and with such a slow start it felt like the story took ages to get going. Rob Brydon is great at what he does, but watching him get frustrated with life for half an hour wasn’t the best start.
This does suffer a little with the idea that it might actually make a better TV show. I wanted to get to know the characters better, the gang of swimmers weren’t introduced very well at all, and by the time we did feel like we knew them, there was very little film left to love them.
These all sound like I didn’t like the film, but once the training montages kicked in and the personalities were distinguishable, it was really good. And I cried, at a synchronised swimming montage!