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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 Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

As an actress, Madonna is one helluva singer! I mean, it's quite understandable that, being married to British director/screenwriter Guy Ritchie ("Snatch"), she'd want to work with him but this is the kind of self-indulgence that evokes unintentional laughter. Based on "Swept an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August" (1974), Lina Wertmuller's provocative comedic fable, the story revolves around the class struggle and sexual combat between a man and woman stranded on a desert island. Madonna plays Amber Leighton, the arrogant wife of a rich American pharmaceutical mogul (Bruce Greenwood) who embarks from Greece with friends for a cruise to Italy. Her constant complaining annoys loutish first-mate Giuseppe Esposito - that's Andriano Giannini whose father, Giancarlo, starred in the Wertmuller film. So when she goads him into taking her out in a dinghy and they wind up stranded on a desert island, the tables turn. "I am the boss now," Giuseppe gloats. Since he catches the fish they eat, he forces her to wait on him. He's just the same kind of mean bully that she is. Predictably, a sexual attraction sparks. As depicted, one can hardly call it love. Having lost all its metaphysical overtones, it's a gross power play, yet Madonna cannot convey dependence. Rippling with sinewy muscle and defiance, she never seems vulnerable - physically, mentally or emotionally. Madonna is a powerful pop-culture icon and she never lets you forget it. Remember "Evita" and "Desperately Seeking Susan"? She was type-cast, and it worked. In "Shanghai Surprise" and "Body of Evidence," her performances were abysmal. This time, woefully, she takes besotted Guy Ritchie with her. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Swept Away" is an onerous 1. While the Mediterranean sparkles, "Swept Away" sinks.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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