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Swept Away

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Swept Away

Starring: Madonna, Adriano Giannini
Director: Guy Ritchie
Rated: R
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genre: Romance

*Also starring: Bruce Greenwood, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Elizabeth Banks, David Thornton

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Madonna, the material girl, plays a classic rich bitch in SWEPT AWAY, an awful B-movie. Written and directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie (SNATCH), the movie's only fun moments come when it is so bad that it becomes kind of fun to laugh at.

As the movie opens, Amber (Madonna), her husband Tony (Bruce Greenwood) and their spoiled friends have rented a large yacht to transport them from Italy to Greece. Or is it the other way around? These jetsetters aren't sure of much of anything in their shallow lives. With a mile-wide, fake smile, the captain (Patrizio Rispo) offers Amber a friendly hand to greet her. Grimacing, she says to no one in particular, "I'm not interested in shaking Black Beard's hook." Amber saves the most vicious of her diatribes for Pepe (Adriano Giannini), a deckhand who waits on her hand and foot. She calls him "nature boy" and worse. Pepe returns the insults but not in English.

In the second act, Amber and Pepe end up marooned alone on a deserted island. This is when the story's ridiculousness accelerates. After not eating or drinking for a few days, Amber manages to have her hair barely mussed and her tummy barely empty. "Fasting is good for you," she taunts Pepe. "It's a spiritual thing."

Things change rapidly in the story. When Amber discovers hunger, she signs up to be Pepe's slave in a complete role reversal from the boat. As best I can tell, the script at this point wants us to feel sympathy for the poor little rich girl. The movie takes one ludicrous turn after another. Even when making love on the beach in the middle of nowhere, they still keep their bathing suits on.

Other than the enjoyment of a few cheap laughs, the only other possible reason to see the picture is a three minute music video that is stuck in the middle. If I saw this musical number on MTV, I'd switch the channels, but, in the context of this turkey, it provided a welcome change of pace.

SWEPT AWAY runs 1:33. It is rated R for "language and some sexuality/nudity" and would acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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