In this low-key British comedy, Rob Brydon plays Eric, a socially awkward accountant suffering a midlife crisis, who finds respite from an unravelling marriage and boring job when he joins a male synchronised swimming group at the local community pool.

The group aren't your typical synchronised swimmers and there's a mix of shapes and sizes (the marketing department embraced the film's description as The Full Monty of synchronised swimming). You'll recognise most of the cast, including Jim Carter, Mr Carson from Downton Abbey; Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Thomas Turgoose (This is England) and Adeel Akhtar (Victoria and Abdul).

They're an odd bunch, bound by a sense of self-worth and camaraderie. Reluctant to join at first, Eric soon embraces the group, even agreeing to compete at the World Championships.

You won't be surprised at how the story unfolds from here.


If you're wondering if you've seen this film, but with subtitles, then you may well have. After a perhaps unsurprising lack of films about male synchronised swimming, two were released within months of each other – the other being French film Le Grand Bain (subtitled Sink or Swim). Both films are inspired by a documentary about Swedish synchronised swimmers.

The solid cast do their best, but we never really get to know them and even Eric is an enigma; which may explain his wife's (Jane Horrocks) frustration with him.

While predictable and a bit flat, it's still an underdog sporting flick, which is the very best kind, so while hardly memorable Swimming with Men manages to be pleasant viewing.


Rob Brydon, Jane Horrocks


Oliver Parker

Running Time:


97 mins


M Offensive Language


Predictable but pleasant.