‘Swimfan’ hits rock bottom

Movie Review

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Genre HorrorRating PG-131 1/2 out of 5 stars

In what can best be described as “Fatal Attraction” for 15 year old girls, “Swimfan” attempts to tackle the deep end of more mature subject matter.

By the film’s end, it is painfully clear that the movie doesn’t even belong in the kiddie pool.

Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford, “Bring It On”) lives the unbelievably perfect life of a high school student: captain of the swim team, college scouts coming to watch him compete, you name it. He even has the typically supportive and understanding girlfriend.

All of that changes, of course, when Madison Bell (Erika Christensen, “Traffic”) transfers to Ben’s school and immediately becomes infatuated with him.

At first, Ben is flattered and manages to keep his distance. But when Madison gets Ben in the pool after an evening of hanging out, they share more than an innocent swim lesson.

Before you can say “Glenn Close,” Madison is stalking Ben around every corner in a frantic attempt to convince him that he really loves her.

The stalking turns into just another boring game of cat and mouse when Ben sees his life being ruined by the conniving and manipulative Madison. She threatens to bring him down, ruin his reputation, murder his girlfriend – you know the routine.

“Swimfan” is a cheesy, overly simplistic, paint by numbers, teenybopper thriller. It’s about as suspenseful as watching the sunrise. You know what to expect and you know when it’s coming.

This is a showcase in how pretentious and self-aggrandizing movies that are marketed toward younger audiences can become.

Bradford spends most of the movie with his mouth open looking as dopey as possible, as if his jaw were unhinged.

Christensen, who turned in a phenomenal performance as a drugged out prep student in “Traffic,” simply turns belly up in this role. She’s merely a caricature of every psycho ever portrayed on film.

Most amusing is the appearance of character actor Dan Hedaya as the coach of the swim team.

Hedaya’s surliness and haggard skills are sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone with enough sense laugh at this pitiful movie.

Any post-adolescent college student who wants to watch “Swimfan” for anything more than camp value should be denied a degree and sent back to kindergarten.


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