Girls Can't Swim
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Though living far apart, teens Gwen and Lise are bosom buddies. Their loyalty to each other supercedes almost every other relationship in their lives. Gwen lives by the seaside with her parents, a fisherman father and housewife mother. She is rather insouciant, a bouncy, good-natured, tousle-haired blonde with Rubenesque charm. Gwen does the usual teenage things, like hanging out with friends, sleeping on the beach and finding hideaways to have sex with her boyfriend. But most of all, she looks forward to letters from Lise. In contrast to Gwen, Lise is red-haired, thinner, more intense and… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film's intimate camera work and searing performances pull us deep into the girls' confusion and pain as they struggle tragically to comprehend the chasm of knowledge that's opened between them."
‑ Paul Malcolm, L.A. Weekly
"I felt sad for Lise not so much because of what happens as because she was captured by this movie when she obviously belongs in something lighter and sunnier, by Rohmer, for example."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"An overly melodramatic but somewhat insightful French coming-of-age film ..."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The story ultimately takes hold and grips hard."
‑ Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Très bleak, but worth it."
‑ , E! Online
"Birot has succeeded in making a movie that has some laughs, low points and high ideals."
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Despite its shortcomings, Girls Can't Swim represents an engaging and intimate first feature by a talented director to watch, and it's a worthy entry in the French coming-of-age genre."
‑ Loren King, Chicago Tribune
"The heedless impetuousness of youth is on full, irritating display in [this] meandering and pointless French coming-of-age import from writer-director Anne-Sophie Birot."
‑ Brent Simon, Entertainment Today
"For a long time the film succeeds with its dark, delicate treatment of these characters and its unerring respect for them."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"This film seems thirsty for reflection, itself taking on adolescent qualities."
‑ Jon Lap, Apollo Guide
"Until its final minutes this is a perceptive study of two families in crisis -- and of two girls whose friendship is severely tested by bad luck and their own immaturity."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Compelling, beautifully photographed French import."
‑ Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
"...a well-observed and disturbing little movie"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Feels less like it's about teenagers, than it was written by teenagers."
‑ Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece, PopMatters
More reviews for Girls Can't Swim on Rotten Tomatoes