THE LIGHTER SIDE
Le Grand Bain
France, Belgium, 2018
122 minutes, Color
Gilles Lellouche's warm and amusing film poses this question: Can a loose collection of mismatched oddballs come together to find success as a male synchronized-swimming team? The absurdity of the premise is matched by the sincere commitment of a group of barely athletic men bonding over this seemingly impossible task. After all, their coach (Virginie Efira) spends practice time reading the great works of poetry and literature to them while they thrash about in the water. When the team discovers that there is a world championship men's synchronized swimming competition taking place in Norway and no team from France has signed up yet, dreams kick into high gear in a fevered quest for glory. While each member's story is explored, especially hilarious is the droll Benoît Poelvoorde as Marcus, whose failing hot-tub business leads him to concoct all manner of fanciful schemes to shortcut the path to success. —Dave Nuttycombe
In French with English subtitles
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