Mr and Mrs Ritchie's desert island film is swamped by a tidal wave of criticism
Saturday 12 October 2002
Guy Ritchie's cinematic love letter to his wife, Madonna, opened in the United States to the worst reviews of his career yesterday.
Hoping for a change of pace from his distinctive London gangster comedies with a remake of Swept Away, Lina Wertmüller's steamy tale of love and repulsion set on a lonely Mediterranean island, Ritchie found himself unflatteringly likened to the captain of a wrecked ship. Madonna, who stars opposite Adriano Giannini, was panned equally roundly, and the only reason the notices weren't also the worst of her career was her unenviable string of previous turkeys, from Shanghai Surprise to Body of Evidence.
"Swept Away is every bit the cinematic shipwreck you'd imagine it would be," wrote the reviewer for the Associated Press. The New York Times called it "soggy and superfluous". Michael Wilmington, in the Chicago Tribune, could manage only the most backhanded of compliments, saying it was "the kind of bad movie only talented people can make".
Opinions were divided on whether the notion of remaking the Wertmüller film, which came out in 1974, was a good idea that had been badly handled, or whether the very concept was flawed. The story concerns a man and a woman stranded on an island who are alternately revolted and attracted to each other. Manohla Dargis, writing in the Los Angeles Times, argued that the Wertmüller film had been dated from the moment it was released, and looked even more dated now it had been remade. "This rough trade Punch-and-Judy act didn't play well then and it plays worse now," Dargis wrote. "It's puzzling what attracted Madonna to Swept Away, unless she thought that the film could help soften her metal-plate persona."
Do such notices mean the film will sink at the box office? Not necessarily. But the Ritchies might well decide that next time out they'll head back to the East End.
Broadcaster unveils Christmas scheduleTV
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Black Mirror Christmas special: Jon Hamm episode will see people 'blocked' in real life
True Detective series 2: Rachel McAdams cast in female lead as 'no-nonsense' detective
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel expected to become overnight bestseller
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Posh People: Inside Tatler, BBC2 - TV review: Fundamentally not just about posh people
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict