Get ready to dive into another aquatic comedy ala Swimming with Men, only French.
Already a smash hit across the Channel, this French-language water polo comedy takes the hoary cliché of the reluctant coach who is drafted in to train a bunch of charismatic no-hopers and it adds a gay twist. Swimmer Matthias Le Goff (Nicolas Gob) uses a gay slur on TV and, as public penance for his sins, is forced by the sport’s governing body to coach a largely useless gay water-polo team dubbed The Shiny Shrimps, who have no interest in winning but only in being fabulous and having fun.
These are themes painted in the broadest strokes, and are so on the nose it’s borderline offesnive, yet the film benefits from writer/director Cédric Le Gallo’s inside-track experience, with the depicted team mostly feeling like a band of actual human beings rather than a box-ticking collection of queer clichés. One of the players is married with two little kids, named Gaspard and Noé – a gag for the French-arthouse fans there. This moderate film treads water just fine. (research Jack Whiting) We hated Swimming With Men, but this is French, sharp and genuinely funny. So, safe to dip your toe in.