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Movie Review

Fatal Attraction for the Clearasil set, Swimfan warns young males that an impulsive sexual indiscretion could lead to trouble, especially if it involves a scorned, psychotic nymphet.

Varsity swimmer Ben Cronin (Bradford) appears to be on the fast track to success. A pending scholarship to Stanford. An adoring girlfriend. A cool truck. Then an innocent encounter over a jammed locker triggers unwise meetings with a new student, Madison Bell (Christensen). Late at night they visit the school pool where Madison initiates sex (there’s no doubt what’s going on below the water line). Ben shrugs it off as a one-time mistake, but quickly realizes he’s in over his head. Madison keeps turning up. And while he tries to keep his girlfriend from learning of the tryst, it gets increasingly difficult when the bitter "other woman" starts making waves in his life.

Madison isn’t merely an annoyance; she’s a soulless killer who shoots and bludgeons people to death (most violent confrontations happen off-screen). She tries to poison, drown and stab others who get in her way. Profanities, alcohol and cigarette smoking add to the troublesome content.

Of course, the biggest problem with this morality tale is sex. Beyond the pool episode, Ben and his steady girlfriend, Amy, are sexually involved (they even discuss cohabitation). While that in itself is immoral, Ben and Amy’s love is presented as the noble, monogamous model worthy of teens’ rooting interest. The message: cheating, bad; sex between committed high schoolers, good. Sometimes what lurks beneath the surface poses the greatest threat.

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Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen, Shiri Appleby





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Bob Smithouser

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