Swimsuit: The Movie (1997)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy

Swimsuit: The Movie (1997) Poster

A mockumentary about a group of swimsuit models hired by a fictitious Chemical company to shoot a product catalog. The movie spoofs the whole Baywatch-Sports Illustrated obsession with ... See full summary »



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12 September 2010 | D_Burke
| A Great Premise Wasted on Cheap Jokes, Bad Acting, and No Plot
Photographs of beautiful women in swimsuits on the beach have always been popular. However, with the 90's being the Age of the Supermodel, such pictures piqued in popularity thanks to the infamous special editions of Sports Illustrated and other magazines. It was only a matter of time before someone would parody this specific modeling theme. Unfortunately, "Swimsuit: The Movie", in addition to presenting an uninspired story line and characters, attempts to also parody corporate greed and corruption. In doing so, the movie bites off more than it can chew. By the end of the film, you wonder why these filmmakers even bothered to make this film.

There could have been great comic possibilities for making a film only about a swimsuit shoot for a magazine. In fact, the opening credits seemed to have the right idea as they show one model posing on her knees as the tide flows in, only to drag decidedly unsexy seaweed along with it. That scenario was one of the few modeling bloopers that actually made me chuckle.

It's when they introduced the actual story that this idea spiraled into the depths of Hell. Following the credits, you see a press conference where the CEO of a controversial conglomerate, Stan Madison (Arthur Roberts), wants to put together a swimsuit calendar to promote his company's products. Such a move (he says) will distract people from the pollution his company has caused under his regime and increase consumers' confidence in his brand. His public relations manager Colleen Todd (Rebecca Bush) thinks it's a bad idea and tells him so, but in the biggest inconsistency that gives the movie a permanent imbalance, goes along with him anyway. They hire a drunken photographer (Oliver Miurhead), and audition supermodels who are supposed to be this film's saving grace, but are all one-dimensional stereotypes.

Now, with a movie called "Swimsuit: The Movie", you would expect that these women would be beautiful. Fortunately, they are, but that's all they have going for them.

The script gives the actresses playing the models very little to work with, resulting in characters I have seen in many movies before. There's a jaded supermodel (Playboy centerfold Heidi Mark) who is good at what she does, but is basically a diva. The other models include a Southern belle with Daisy Duke's outfit, a Russian model who no speak English good (and, interestingly enough, is a Communist, despite the Soviet Union falling six years before this movie was made), and an angry African-American model who never ceases to remind us that everyone else on the set is a "honky". If the latter stereotype wasn't tired enough, or offensive enough for that matter, there's also a Jewish American Princess who talks like Fran Drescher. When she appeared on screen, I knew it was only a matter of time before she said something jaw-droppingly insensitive. In this case, Colleen Todd asks her to describe her ideal man. The JAP replies, first, that he has to make her laugh. Shortly afterwords, she adds, "Oh yeah, and money is important, too." Of course it is.

As the models visit locations from a rain forest to a beach littered with toxic waste, the jokes remain predictable, the gags backfire, the dialogue sounds forced, and the story feels clunky. There were even scenes that looked as though they were put in the final cut out of order too. They probably were, judging from the poor editing job of this film.

I want to give this movie credit because it is an independent film shot on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, it looks and feels that way.

What is also interesting is that gags are inserted into the closing credits similar to what Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker did in "Airplane" (1980) and "The Naked Gun" (1988). One credit says following things like "Assistant Grip": Not Funny: Ernest Movies, Pauly Shore, Gallagher. They may be correct about that, but this movie does not prove that the people who made it are any funnier.

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Filming Locations

Los Angeles, California, USA

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