Swept Away

Crimes

  • Letting Madonna prove what a good sport she is by casting her as a high-maintenance socialite stranded on a desert island, thereby allowing her to simultaneously mock narcissism and indulge in it
  • Converting the class-conscious satire of Lina Wertmüller's 1974 original into cartoonish romantic wackiness, once Madonna falls for earthy, unlikable fisherman Adriano Giannini
  • Maintaining Guy Ritchie's edgy cred by packing the film with profanity and distractingly stylish montages

    Defender
    Director (and Madonna's husband) Guy Ritchie, producer Matthew Vaughn

    Tone Of Commentary
    Distracted. Ritchie admits that when he watches his films, he has almost no memory of how he made them. He perks up only when he talks about the abuse he heaped on his wife during filming. He explains that he made Swept Away because "I thought it would give people who dislike Madonna another opportunity to dislike Madonna. And then we'd gradually segue into her transformation."

    What Went Wrong
    They weren't sure they had the rights secured, so Vaughn spent the first two weeks worrying that they were "making the most expensive home movie ever made." Ritchie wrote the script quickly and started filming almost as soon as the writing was done, which explains why the dialogue repeatedly rehashes the same conflicts. The director admits that Swept Away bombed at test screenings. "They all throw popcorn at the screen and tell you how shit it is, but they do give you some idea of where you're going wrong." The answer? According to Vaughn, "People thought she was such a bitch, why would he even bother trying [to woo her]?"

    Comments On The Cast
    "I've never come across a cock of an actor," Ritchie boasts, but that may be because he doesn't get to know any of them well enough to remember their names. "That old guy, he's a good actor," he says, and "This guy on the right is brilliant. He's from Harry Potter."

    Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
    Ritchie says he was attracted to the story's simplicity. "It's the antithesis of everything I was doing before."

    Commentary In A Nutshell
    Ritchie's lament: "No one makes films about slapping women anymore."

  • More Commentary Tracks Of The Damned