Swimming with You
20 Jun 2022
Holly Lawrenson Evans
Paul Davidson, Taylor Watson, Holly Lawrenson Evans
Declyn Tracey, Dillon McFarlane, Carla McNeil
Swimming with You is a delightfully relatable short film that encounters two young men on a journey of self-discovery and attraction. After a hook-up goes wrong and they get locked out of the car, sparks fly and embarrassment erupts as both men are frustrated with the uncomfortable situation that they find themselves in. However, once they get talking and learn more about each other, they begin to bond and the situation develops in ways that neither of them expected.
The dynamic between Lucas (Declyn Tracey) and Rhys (Dillon McFarlane) is electric as both actors are able to convey an awkward relationship between two men who are unsure on how to feel about each other outside of their hook-up. When breakdown recovery woman, Lorna (Carla McNeil), enters the scene and teases them, the couple respond in very different ways. Whereas Rhys is incredibly embarrassed and uncomfortable with anyone finding out about his sexuality, Lucas is more open and very blasé and is not phased by Lorna’s teasing. These moments highlight the awkwardness between Rhys and Lucas, forcing them to confront what they actually want versus what their meetings actually mean.
Director Holly Lawrenson Evans thoughtfully examines the secret and scary side of queer culture where two casual partners are unsure how they want to define themselves, let alone their relationships. As Lucas is not used to giving second chances and typically does not want to get emotionally involved, this situation forces him to be vulnerable with Rhys – and vice-versa – and re-examine their feelings. When Lorna enters the scene, the atmosphere feels tense and fearful, confronting the two men with the potential realities of their situation and that they actually have to talk to each other properly. You begin to realise that this short film is deeper than ‘just a hook-up’, but instead provides an insight into a real-life situation.
An unexpected and simple situation of not being able to find the car keys leads to an evaluation of emotions and anxieties. Swimming with You has a beautiful and heartfelt script that conveys a reality for young gay men in the UK trying to figure themselves and their sexual identities out. The reality of dealing with raw emotions and public anxiety for the first time is tenderly examined and provides a sweet short film. This is well worth watching.