‘Swimming with Men’ tries to solve a mid-life crisis with synchronised swimming and the result is sappy but sweet [Review]

By Alejo Rodriguez Lo

Middle-aged men find friendship and confidence in the swimming pool

By Alejo Rodriguez Lo |

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(4th from left) Eric (Rob Brydon) finds friendship and courage in the pool.

Swimming with Men tells the story of Eric Scott (Rob Brydon), an accountant in the midst of a mid-life crisis who finds peace and joy after joining an amateur synchronised swimming team composed entirely of middle-aged men.

The feel-good comedy tries to mimic the success of The Full Monty (1997); a group of men who find new meaning to life through a certain activity. However the film doesn’t quite hit the mark and can feel rather cheesy at times.

The film begins with a sequence of beautiful shots showing us the repetitive work life of Eric, while also hinting at problems in his family life with his wife Heather Scott (Jane Horrocks). Eric feels that he is neither loved at home nor respected at the office. His problems are compounded when he is left truly alone after moving out to live by himself.

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Through his only means of stress relief at the swimming pool, he meets an all-male amateur synchronised swimming team. The team welcomes him as they notice they have are all suffering from similar setbacks, and teach him that synchronised swimming can bring some measure of peace and structure into their lives.

They decide to join an amateur synchronised swimming competition. Throughout this competition, Eric and his teammates find a new meaning to life and the courage to face their fears. But will this be enough to salvage what’s left of his various relationships?

Overall the film was edited quite brilliantly, with a lot of underwater shots showcasing the synchronised swimming and movement. However the plot was quite predictable and sometimes overly sentimental. But if you’re looking for a feel-good movie to pass the time, Swimming with Men just might do the trick.

Edited by Jamie Lam