Swinging With The Finkels tells the story of Alvin and Ellie Finkel, a London couple at breaking point in their marriage. Do they stay together and continue down an increasingly stale path, or should they attempt to relight the flame that they are both missing? Would sex toys be the answer? Will dressing up and role play help spice things up? Or should they indulge in the ultimate marriage scruple of wife swapping? Alvin and Ellie are about to discover whether swinging is the answer to their marital problems.
Mandy Moore and Martin Freeman are a married couple who look like they could have it all. The wife is a nice and beautiful twentysomething woman and the husband is a fortysomething architect. As the Finkels, they should be happy, right? Not really. In director Jonathon Newman’s British sex comedy ‘Swinging With The Finkels’, married couples are nothing if not happy. And as the title suggests, yes, there’s ‘swinging’ involved; ergo, spouse-swapping with consent going on.
‘Swinging With The Finkels’ is not the first foray into couplehood by Mandy Moore and Martin Freeman. They actually appeared as ex-lovers in the 2007 Justin Theroux-directed movie ‘Dedication’. They’re an unlikely couple, sure, but they have enough charm and acting talent to make it seem believable. For some reason, in this one however hard they try, they fall short and it’s not their fault.
You’d think swinging as the sort of ‘Fight Club’ for desperate housewives and husbands has become old; seriously, is it shocking anymore? But ‘Swinging With The Finkels’ would like you to believe that wholesome actors Moore and Freeman could. Guess what? I feel bad for them for allowing themselves to work so hard for an obviously flimsy plot and even clichéd dialogue and situations. What does the movie want to imply, exactly? Is swinging good or bad? Is it necessary to spice up a rutty marriage? Do you solve it by being infidels to your spouse? (What’s up with movie versions of married couples – why do they keep on insisting the only way to fix their relationship is to sleep with other people?!)
The movie also boasts of being a comedy but not much laughs are offered here. There’s a tip on how to use a cucumber to get frisky but again, that vegetable has been used before. Are the film makers reading old Cosmopolitan magazines from the 70’s or something? Thank goodness for Jerry Stiller, playing an American father to a British son (Freeman) – how that happened, at least the movie finally has a mystery. Stiller actually lectures on the benefits of a functioning marriage. THAT seems funny.