Movies about the movie industry have been fairly common for many years now – some would even say they’re to the point of becoming worn-out. So when I watched Swimming with Sharks, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a film that stands out from the ordinary. It’s a dark, cynical film that reminded me of Sunset Blvd. in its level of pessimism (and that’s really saying something). Certainly not a film for everyone, Swimming with Sharks cuts deep into the volatile world of the Hollywood machine, where even the best intentions fail for those attempting to succeed.
This low-budget film features some fine performances from its stars, Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley. Each one attempts to outdo the other in their scenes together, working side-by-side to create an increasingly contentious relationship. The story took me places I was surprised to go and brought up some angles that typically wouldn’t be explored. Although dark, the film provides many comedic moments that are just odd enough to come from real life. Ultimately the film acts as a cautionary tale, asking us to be careful what we wish for.