|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Le grand bain|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 122 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric) has not worked for many months already. He just can't get a foothold in society again. But then he meets a group of men who get rid of their everyday frustration by forming a male synchronized swimming team. Bertrand joins the colourful troupe, led by the once celebrated synchronized swimmer Delphine (Virginie Efira), and feels well taken care of here. He gets more and more involved, which reaches its climax when the team gets the chance to take part in an international competition. But now it is clear that Bertrand is not the only one who has to struggle with his life outside the pool…
"A pool full of men" is already the third feature film dealing with the story of a male synchronized swimming team based on true events. In addition to the British version "Swimming with Men" from last year, the Swedish film "Men in the Water" was released in 2008. And also a documentary from the year 2010 focused on the synchronized swimmers. Even though the theme of all these films is the same, their realization is very different. In the case of the French version, for which the actor Gilles Lellouche is responsible, the result is unfortunately only entertaining to a limited extent.
The film actually has everything a good comedy needs: a great cast, a nice story and a few wonderfully funny scenes in which the humor can sometimes be politically incorrect. Then why is "a pool full of men" only a nice average after all? That's because the movie takes way too long to get going. Over an hour the individual fates of (almost) all members of the team will be discussed. Anxiety, alcohol addiction, unfulfilled dreams, and broken marriages are just some of the problems discussed here. That's not really amusing on the one hand and on the other hand just too much of a good thing.
When the actual story finally takes over, the comedy gets not only speed, but also a lot of wit. The last 45 minutes are also really good and reveal how the movie could have been if the drama had been a bit less thick. All in all, "Ein Becken voller Männer" is dramaturgically a bit weaker than "Swimming with Men", which can still be captured by the great cast and some really funny moments. And so there is - with small restrictions - also a satisfied one at the end: Worth seeing!
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