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  • jenkinsc0119 June 2011
    Oh dear. Yet another failed attempt to do a 'Four Weddings'. Take a selection of 'hilarious' middle-class characters, throw in a bit of sexual experimentation, some London landmarks and a barrage of romantic clichés, and you have the formula for this soggy mass of mediocrity. The script is banal, the characters unappealing, and the hodge-podge of nationalities baffling (would you believe English, American, Canadian, Australian, Indian and Eurasian characters all together in anything except the Olympics?). Martin Freeman plays a remarkably unsympathetic character, and has little to do except pull his usual variety of faces. The problem with the British film industry is that it's only possible to get funding for this sort of gloop, or for gangster films.
  • I love movies that deal with sex and marriage because these are topics that, well, are taboo on our society. The movie premise starts great, a marriage with a 'block' on their passion search for alternatives and as I say, it starts great, very liberal in the way it shows the couple trying to search for something different.

    Then, all of a sudden, the movie just chickens out, sex and passion stops being the main topic of the movie and it slowly but surely becomes in another super clichéd romantic comedy about a couple fighting and getting back together.

    Seriously, I love movies that respect their premise and go for it, this movie is not. Swinging (swingers) is the main title of the movie, but, believe me, swinging is the LEAST you will see on this one.

    I don't have a problem with romantic comedies, don't get me wrong, but when the main premise goes to the trash can in the middle of it I get mad.

    This movie is very deceptive, it tries to be original and bold in their initial statements but if rapidly falls in the "normal" category.

    A real letdown, if you really want to see a fun comedy that don't dare to chicken out like this one, please, go see "A good old fashioned orgy" and do not waste time on this one.
  • I read the other reviews and think the film has gotten a bum wrap. It's not Oscar worthy but it's light and easy to watch. I wouldn't say it's a chick flick but definitely would be easy to see with some girlfriends but a couple would get a few chuckles out of it. Assuming you've never swung, it is a bit clichéd but it's not supposed to be taken seriously. The actors do a great job and maybe the writing could have been better. The directing was a bit bland but the overall quality of the production was pretty good. I thought the two main character had good chemistry too. Mandy is not my actress of choice but she's pretty good at light comedy. I've seen far worse actors trying to do comedy. I would recommend this film to friends and couples alike. If anything, once you finish the movie it will be easier to broach the subject of 'swinging' if you get the vibe that your partner is into it!
  • The most cliché gathered Movie I have ever seen. An Indian, with the oh so funny (?) Indian/English accent, the gay Spanish man with a lisp, the french gay guy that wishes he was a woman, the traditional Asian woman at the Nail salon,who of course, gets into your conversation and is, of course, very "sexually outspoken".

    Men who goes to the same Nail salon and sits there with facial masks and "treats themselves" and is talking to the same Asian woman.

    I mean come on.

    Think of all the bad lines, scenes that are supposed to be funny, that you just roll your Eyes at, all the American Pie Movies, take them and put them in a blender. Out comes this Movie.

  • neil-47623 June 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Well, this is downright peculiar, and no mistake. We have what appears to be a perfectly straightforward comedy/drama of morals/manners, whereby after 9 years of marriage, Alvin Finkel and his American wife Sarah find their marriage getting a bit stale, so they try a partner swap with another couple, then separate. Look a bit deeper though, and things aren't quite so straightforward.

    This film has a definite air of an American reject being set in London instead of New York, with Martin Freeman playing the mildly neurotic smart-arse part which might have been played once upon a time by a young Woody Allen. This feeling is added to by Sarah's grandparents (Jerry Stiller and (I think} Beverly Klein) being very Jewish without there being the slightest indication that Alvin and Sarah are Jewish, apart from their name (not many English Jews called Alvin, incidentally). The grandparents serve no dramatic purpose other than being necessary for the payoff of one of the gags, by the way. Also, at one point, Angus Deayton actually utters the word "gotten". Sorry, but no-one in England says "gotten."

    So this strange transAtlantic vibe pervades a story which would actually work a lot better if we were able to care about the people in it. I nearly cared about Mandy Moore's Sarah, but I cared not a jot about Martin Freeman's character. And without anything at stake, the dramatic element of the movie did nothing for me.

    There were places where it was amusing but, broadly, this was a misfire with an identity crisis.
  • This movie has some really funny moments, considerable charm, and a nice sensibility, all too rare in most modern British films.

    If you are married (or have ever been in a relationship of more than five minutes), you will be able to identify with the Finkels' problems and be amused by the varied and intriguing solutions they come up with to add some spice to their ailing sex life. There is also a nice contrast with the other main couple and we see how both couples deal with the same problem in rather different ways.

    The unusual locations in London were used to great effect and the art direction was excellent.

    PS: After watching this film cucumbers will always make you smile.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Midway through this movie exactly this phrase came to my mind. There are some really lovely moments where (t)his potential shines, something like Hepburn-Grant, wow - oh and the chemistry between the leads should be a little bit better. Yet of course this movie isn't a screwball and if you expect a lot of swinging, you'd be disappointed as well. The gags were foreseeable and all I felt was an air of compulsiveness, as regards marriage, sex etc. When Peter (Jonathan Silverman) mentions that he misses the fighting and nagging, this subsumed exactly my feelings about the script.

    So please, please, if anybody reads this do me a favour and have Martin Freeman do a real screwball comedy, for I fear he would be excellent - just the right timing. The 6 out of ten is for the acting!
  • I take my hat off to Jonathan Newman for making a British film that isn't all doom and gloom. There are quite a few LOL moments in this movie, not just from the action but from the dialog as well. It has an American feel to it which I like and think is clever as this gives it international appeal.

    Okay, it's not 100% representative of a real couple living in London but so what? It's a romantic comedy, it's supposed to just entertain you, and that it does. It actually brought a tear to my eye at one point but it was a happy tear, not a sad one. It is just so nice to go and see a British film without leaving the theater completely depressed.
  • SnoopyStyle7 January 2018
    Alvin (Martin Freeman) and Ellie Finkel (Mandy Moore) seem to be a happily married couple in London. Peter (Jonathan Silverman) and Janet (Melissa George) are their married best friends. With issues in the marriage, Ellie suggests swinging.

    Freeman and Moore make for a bland couple. They don't have much chemistry which leaves them without any rooting interest. I don't care about saving their marriage. The characters are flat. The humor is cruel but worst of all, it's broadly bland. With all the inappropriate takes and foul language, none of it is that funny, not even as an accidental shock humor. I'm not sure who writer/director Jonathan Newman is. His resume doesn't stand out to me. It's surprising that he has a cast of good actors. I don't know what they read in the script.
  • In London, Ellie and Alvin have been married nine years and are bored. Things could be worse, though. Their friends Peter and Janet have two kids and their sex life is nearly non-existent. His sex life is another matter, but that's another issue we'll deal with later.

    Co-workers of both Ellie and Alvin make suggestions about what to do to spice up the marriage. Ellie seems to be a fashion designer (very nice logo) and Alvin works with blueprints (probably an architect). One idea is swapping with another couple, which leads to some laughs. Ellie puts an ad on a web site. We meet some of the more colorful couples who are being considered (and stay around for the credits, because some of the funniest and naughtiest material from them is still to come). One couple is selected, and things go pretty well at first. Once a couple is selected, the process all seems perfectly innocent and not dirty at all. But ultimately the plan is not successful, and the rest of the movie is about whether Ellie and Alvin will even stay together, as well as the breakup of Peter and Janet's marriage over his cheating. By the end of the movie, there is hope for at least one and possibly both of the couples.

    I hesitate to call this a straight comedy but there are plenty of laughs. It's just that on my TiVo this was identified only as "romance, comedy". It is my opinion that mainly in the second half, this becomes more of a "comedy-drama". But it is entertaining and intelligent nevertheless. It's not constant laugh out loud zaniness.

    Mandy Moore is not beautiful but attractive and likeable, and certainly smart and capable of speaking her mind.

    Jerry Stiller stands out in a few scenes as Ellie's grandfather. He is a nearly perfect grumpy old man but seems happy with his longtime wife. I don't know who Beverley Klein is but she seems likeable enough. Both are presented with a nasty surprise when they make a surprise visit.

    Melissa George does a great job too. Not the most likeable character, but she effectively shows us frustration. I will say this. Janet is not that pretty during most of the movie but she is just plain hot, with gorgeous hair and gorgeous everything else. toward movie's end.

    I don't remember his name, but Ellie's gay co-worker also stands out.

    Another standout actor does nails and is Asian. I don't remember her name, and she did have only two lines (in different scenes), but she made the most of them. Elizabeth Tan is listed in the credits as "pedicurist", so that must be her

    What I really liked about this movie was the music. There are a couple of classical works, but most of the music is jazz, and the good kind of jazz. Not smooth jazz, and not the intellectual, depressing Miles Davis type of jazz either. Fun music that makes me think of Ed Sullivan. And of course the pleasant background music so many movies have. There are also a couple of vocal "standards", really nice music that mature people enjoyed in the 60s while the kids were shocking their parents by blasting this evil rock and roll. One of those accompanies one of the most enjoyable sequences, with flashbacks of Ellie and Alvin meeting in college and the early stages of their relationship, followed by Ellie looking at wedding pictures.

    And there is also "music" that reminds me of the green truck that wakes me on Thursdays. In the bar when Ellie's co-worker and his husband (he's quite a character too) explain "swinging", and Ellie's fashion show. Other than the music, that's pretty impressive, and the "music" is appropriate, I guess. Another scene has Peter playing a video game with heavy metal.

    Is this family friendly? Given the subject matter, do you even have to ask? Especially when the couples are being interviewed. Once the one couple is selected, it's done quite tastefully, but overall, so many words had to be bleeped for broadcast TV that some scenes make no sense at all.

    Overall, it's a pretty enjoyable experience.
  • I really enjoyed this film. It has some very funny moments including a great scene with Melissa George and another brilliant set piece with Mandy Moore.

    As far as romcoms go, I thought this had something to say about modern relationships and I certainly related to the idea of a stale marriage!

    Good performances from Freeman and Moore and a scene stealing cameo from Angus Deayton. Overall, this is very watchable.

    Compared to some of the bad romcoms we get fed from America, this stands out as an original, fresh, funny movie and does what it says on the tin... Entertains for 90 minutes... And it's British too! Hooray for British film!
  • This is a great movie - funny, fresh and original. Director Jonathan Newman is a film maker to keep an eye on.

    The plot is hilarious, the cast are perfect and there is an exceptionally funny moment in the film that will certainly raise a few eyebrows. If you enjoyed "Something Like Mary" - you will definitely enjoy this.

    Newman paints a very positive picture of life, friendships and relationships and how what you are seeking in life is usually found within. His images of London are heart warming, bold and powerful.

    You must go and see this film, I can't recommend it enough.
  • I would have liked this movie if it were not for Mandy Moore. She. Can't. Act. She plays the same, saccharin sweet shy girl in every movie. Every single one. She is not believable as Alvin's wife. She is not believable as a fashion designer. What the hell was she wearing on New Year's Eve. She looked like a 50 year old dowdy cat lady, not a fashion designer who just held a show with a truly bizarre and ridiculous collection of crap. I really had to force myself to finish it. Even the ending was anticlimactic and not the least bit endearing bc of her. And the sound quality in the opening sequence. They used the same song as the opening of While You Were Sleeping, but it sounded like it was in a cave. This story had potential, but someone mucked it up big time.
  • Let's be clear that this was not intended to be great art. It was a sex comedy, probably aimed at young couples on date night, the same audience that saw Knocked Up. Swinging With The Finkelmans was mostly cute, fast-paced, and moderately funny. I don't know why it didn't get more publicity. I had never even heard of it until I stumbled across it on a subscription movie service, 7 years after it was made. Despite the title and subject, it turned out to be nowhere near as filthy or as morally empty as one might expect. It was actually sweet, believe it or not. Mandy Moore was adorable. Derivative? Maybe. But also somewhat charming.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Mandy Moore. This singer turned actress had two movies out in 2010. One was where she voiced a Disney Princess named Rapunzel in Tangled(which according to Rotten Tomatoes) is the best film that she has ever done in her career. And then there is this mediocre romantic comedy Swinging With The Finkels. She plays Martin Freeman's wife(yeah the guy is too old for her,you would take him to be her dad)who wants to swap him for another couple as the two can swing with the other couples. So they come across this couple and they see what sex is like with the other person. I couldn't watch half of this at all as I was switching back and forth on TV as it was bearable to watch. In my opinion I think Mandy Moore tries too hard. She reminds me of Meg Ryan in the days. She always plays this sweet innocent chick that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth ,instead of actually playing other characters that haven't got that angelic persona that both Moore and Ryan have. Bottom line I was disappointed in this movie and if you really want to see what a great actress Ms Moore is then check her out in A Walk To Remember(2002) and of course my all time favourite film Tangled. These two films really showcase her talent as she is a great singer and I wish she would focus more on her music again besides wasting her talent on rubbish films like this one that I am reviewing.

    Another thing I forgot to mention is her and Martin Freeman together as a couple. It just doesn't work. Yes the two have worked together before in the past called Deception(it was directed by Justin Therox)but I just couldn't invest myself with Moore and Freeman AT ALL as Alvin and Ellie Finkel. I mean why on earth would they swap partners for anyway its just total rubbish.


    Also keep an eye out for Louie Spence(who is well known here in the UK in Strictly Come Dancing)and of course Ben Stiller's dad Jerry Stiller.
  • I guess that sums it up good. Hopefully you don't have bad feelings towards the actors involved (especially Mandy Moore), because you wouldn't be able to like or enjoy the movie otherwise. But Martin Freeman and Moore do have a special chemistry and it works for the purpose of the movie. It's not that you will be cheering at the screen (I'm assuming here), but you will like them.

    If that is not enough, maybe the decent comedy in place will please you. The theme is an adult one, which although there is not that much going on (explicit wise), the movie is rated R in America. In Germany and other European countries this probably looks different, because it is tame by their standards. A heads up to what you may expect.