‘Swimfan’ doesn’t go the distance

Karen Schubert

It starts off as a normal crush. The sexy sports star catches your eye and even goes out of his way to help you out. Suddenly you are head-over-heels and spend your nights praying to God that he’ll desire you the way you desire him. It may start off normal, but Madison Bell has a far from normal crush on swimming sensation Ben Cronin in this week’s No. 1 box office hit, “Swimfan.” Cronin is the stunning high school senior star swimmer with a perfect girlfriend and great personality. He is on the fast track to superstardom until he gives in to the temptation of the seductive Bell.

This teenage version of “Fatal Attraction” provides a slightly more suspenseful hour-and-a-half than I expected, keeping me amused most of the way through. The film was less cheesy than I anticipated, with the entire first hour being mostly believable. It isn’t until Bell, handcuffed in the backseat of a squad car, manages to grab a gun from an officer’s holster and escape to create more havoc for Cronin, that I realized how unrealistic the film was starting to become.

I found myself laughing out loud at the humor and actually fidgeting in my seat waiting to see what would happen next. However, I knew little about the film before I spent my money to watch the twenty-something actors portraying high-schoolers. It wasn’t until after I saw the movie that I caught the preview on television. If you have seen the trailer, don’t waste your time. The entire plot is covered in the two-minute clip.

A huge plus for the film is the eye candy! You may recognize Jesse Bradford (Cronin) from his starring role opposite Kirsten Dunst in the “Bring it On” and sexy Erika Christensen (Bell) had her breakout role as Michael Douglas’s drug-addicted daughter in “Traffic.”

Being in college ruined my appreciation for high school based films, though. If I had seen this movie three years ago, I could see myself raving about it. But now, “Swimfan” only ranks average on the quality scale. If you have yet to see the trailer for “Swimfan,” I would say it is worth the money for a matinee showing, or better yet, wait for it on video. If, on the other hand, you have seen the preview, you’ve seen about as much as I did and don’t waste your time.