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USA 2002
Directed by
Guy Ritchie
86 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Swept Away (2002)

Guy Ritchie’s remake of  Lina Wertmüller’s 1974 feminist comedy Swept Away is one of those films which like another celebrity vehicle Gigli isn’t as bad as its reputation would lead you to think. There are a lot worse films. Which is not to say that is any good. The most prominent failings are Ritchie’s script and the casting of his then-wife Madonna in the lead role.

The former is at its worst in the opening section prior to the marooning of rich-bitch Amber (Madonna) and poor Italian fisherman Guiseppe (Adriano Giannini) on an island in the Aegean. The dialogue tries to be amusing as it gets Amber's group to amply demonstrates the vacuity of the rich but it is laboriously unfunny. The poor delivery doesn’t help with Madonna being only (and that’s only just) the worst offender in this respect. Once Amber and Guiseppe get separated from the main group in a storm and the tables of power are turned on a desert island the awfulness settles down but probably largely because there are fewer bad actors speaking even worse lines.

The wit of Wertmüller’s original table-turning original gets lost in Guiseppe’s reversion to a caveman mentality and Amber's sudden slavish adoration of him. Struggling to provide some interest in the material Ritchie inserts a fantasy nightclub scene and a cheesy rapid-cut montage over some swing music. But nothing can distract from Madonna’s stringy gym-junkie physique and haggard features which are only more accentuated by the idyllic island scenery which constitutes the film only visual appeal. Adriano Giannini on the other hand does a good job reviving his father Giancarlo's part in Wertmüller’s original but that’s pretty much the only thing that this film gets right.




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