Swimming

Bomb Rating: 

(Director Robert) Siegel should have just called the movie "Catfight."

This film takes place in a little resort town near the ocean in South Carolina, which means it's one of those films about all the quirky people who live there and how they dream of escaping their dull lives but can't because they're just too tied to the place. It also means that the characters, despite their various psychiatric disorders, are really good people at heart and if they just upped and left town and pursued actual productive lives, they'd always be lost without each other.

At the center of this story is Frankie (Lauren Ambrose), a teenager who co-owns a burger joint with her obnoxious brother, Neil (Josh Pais). See, their parents decided to retire to Arizona so they up and left their teenage daughter with her brother and gave them the restaurant as if to say, "We're tired of parenting, here's a restaurant for you to run. Have fun." What kind of weird plot point is that? Don't parents land in jail for those kind of stunts?

Because Frankie is pretty homely looking, director Robert J. Siegel has to follow her around so that we can discover how homely people find love and how homely people make friends and what homely people think about when they don't think about why they're so homely. Hindering Frankie's shot at friendship and love is her friend Nicola (Jennifer Dundas), who's kind of a slutty fireball. Nicola is pissed because Josee (Joelle Carter) shows up on the scene and everybody would rather sleep with Josee. Frankie befriends Josee. Nicola becomes bitter. Siegel should have just called the movie "Catfight."

Fortunately for Frankie, she takes refuge in the attentions of Heath (Jamie Harold), who likes Frankie just for who she is. Oh, and also for the fact that she screws him in the back of his van. That usually puts the homely chicks over the top -- the screwing strangers is the backs of their vans part. Usually homely girls aren't well liked, but if you've got "will screw in back of a van" on your resume, well, that really helps to separate you from the pack.

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