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Swimfan

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
  • COMMENTS
Swimfan

from Film Forum, 09/12/02

Swimfan is a thriller that basically takes the Fatal Attraction formula—married man stalked by obsessed woman—and places it in a high school. When a swim star lapses in faithfulness to his girlfriend, his dalliance with an obsessed fan costs him his peace of mind … and much more. The seductress (Traffic's Erika Christensen) is not about to let her target get away, and when he tries to hide his foolish error from his girlfriend, the stalker becomes dangerous and aggressive.

Certainly this is a basic morality play. Religious media critics are displeased by the film, not for its message that "infidelity is bad," but because the "good" relationship is actually far from healthy.

Bob Smithouser (Focus on the Family) says, "The message: Cheating, bad; sex between committed high schoolers, good. Sometimes what lurks beneath the surface poses the greatest threat."

Douglas Downs (Christian Spotlight) writes, "Most Christians and morally conscious people would blush at the innuendo-laden dialogue present in Swimfan. You begin to get the very distinct impression that all teens think about is sex and 'getting laid'. Why does Hollywood persist in old stereotypes? Please heed these warnings and skip out on this corporate attempt to further corrupt the innocence of America."

Looking at other aspects, Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) says there's not much to admire: "Putting aside the objectionable content for a moment, the script, the direction and most of the acting are—now let's be generous—disappointing."

Meanwhile, mainstream critics are hoping the movie quickly drowns in bad reviews.

Stephen Holden (New York Times) claims that the film "goes overboard with a loony melodramatic denouement." David Hunter (Hollywood Reporter) says, "The project's filmmakers forgot to include anything even halfway scary. Swimfan has bad-movie cult potential, if it even gets that much attention. [The film] dog-paddles to the finish … but the movie by then has become far funnier than any thriller can afford to be."


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