Swinging with the Finkels: Let me offer a word of congratulation – Jonathan Newman deserves a bottle of champagne for the title.
Why? Because it makes his movie sound an awful lot more fun than it is.
The trailer to this film makes it look saucy and daring. It isn’t. It is the blandest rom com of the year. If I say it’s funniest moment involves Angus Deayton‘s buttocks, you’ll get the picture.
I was late watching this (I caught up with it at Belper Ritz tonight) because we were away in Salou when it came out. It only lasted a week at the multiplexes. I realised this wasn’t a good sign but it did occur to me that this was a film about nooky and starred the very pretty Mandy Moore and the gorgeous Melissa George, so it couldn’t be all bad could it?
Suffice to say Miss Moore is transformed into a twee pixie and the film-makers even managed to make the magnificent Melissa look like a frump with a bird’s nest on her head. And then there’s Martin Freeman.
I understand that in The Office, Freeman, the quiet but witty type, became the darling of a nation of women. But his character Tim stopped being on the telly eight years ago and yet Freeman keeps bringing him back on the big screen. In Swinging With The Finkels, he is like Tim’s unfunny brother – wallowing in self pity when he has everything life could possible offer. I wanted to prod him with a red hot poker and shout “don’t be such an ass.”
Anyway, he is married to Mandy Moore and they are fed up because they are not having a bit of how’s your father. We hear in graphic detail about their failing sex lives and after several abortive (but on one occasion quite funny) attempts to spice things up, they decide to swing. This swapping episode, however, only last about 20 minutes. It provides a couple of giggles and then it’s over.
Thereafter the movie is even more dull than it was before. And the ending is so obvious I could have walked out half way through and predicted it.
I know rom coms seldom light my candle but maybe they would if script writers gave them a bit more zest. But if their central characters are unlovable (and Freeman’s Alvin Finkel is truly unlovable) then it is never going to work. So, perhaps Newman shouldn’t get a prize, after all, for his adventurous title and pacey trailer. Because by the end of Swinging With The Finkels, I felt a little bit conned.
Check out: everyfilmin2011.blogspot.com
Running time: 85 minutes
Released: June 17th 2011
Director: Jonathan Newman
Producer: Deepak Nayar
Screenplay: Jonathan Newman
Music: Mark Thomas
Sarah Finkel: Mandy Moore
Alvin Finkel: Martin Freeman
Janet: Melissa George
Peter: Jonathan Silverman
Dustbin Man: Graham Bohea
Pedicurist: Elizabeth Tan
Toe Jam Woman: Carolyn Tomkinson