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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Swimfan

Starring: Erika Christensen, Jesse Bradford
Director: John Polson
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 84 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genres: Horror, Suspense

*Also starring: Shiri Appleby, Kia Joy Goodwin, Nick Sandow, Clayne Crawford, Dan Hedaya, James DeBello

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

John Polson's I WAS A TEENAGE FATAL ATTRACTOR goes by the prosaic title of SWIMFAN, the instant message id of the movie's psycho. Going into it, I was hoping that it would be sleazy and fun, but it was neither. Although he has a decent cast to work with, Polson is never able to make the story believable.

When we meet Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford, CLOCKSTOPPERS) on the first day of his senior year in high school, he is told by his swim coach (Dan Hedaya) that he has to practice for the next eight days solid since the Stanford recruiters are coming early this year. The story quickly loses credibility when you realize that this jock with a scholarship on the line spends precious little time getting ready for his big tryout.

Ben, who is deeply in love with Amy Miller (Shiri Appleby), is easily seduced by Madison Bell (Erika Christensen, TRAFFIC), a new student in town. Madison is a nut case who refuses to leave Ben alone. She is like a nightmare that won't end. Actually, her real agenda is never convincing or clear. What we do know is that she dresses well and wears a lot of lip gloss and that she is bad since she fills up Ben's Email inbox with PG-13 rated porn pictures of herself. On the other hand, we know that Ben is a good kid who doesn't deserve to be harassed by her. How do we know this? Why, he is such a caring person that he goes out of his way to bring girlie playing cards to an old geezer in the hospital where he works as an orderly.

The completely predictable plot includes such clichés as Madison leaving her panties in Ben's car so that Amy will see them. It also features the old trick of the ending which really isn't. About all I can say for the picture is that it is occasionally fun to laugh at. But it takes itself quite seriously and is no parody. You'll probably feel like you were in Bradford's last movie as the clock does seem to stop while you are watching SWIMFAN. Your watch may indicate that the movie was less than an hour and a half, but don't believe it. It sure feels longer.

SWIMFAN runs 1:25. It is rated PG-13 for "mature thematic elements, sexual content, disturbing images and language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes

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