What a wonderful movie. A depressed middle-class white guy – played superbly by the ever-brilliant Rob Brydon – finds unexpected solace in a team of terrible synchronised swimmers, also all men, also all going through stuff. Together, they make it all the way to the World Championships... and win! It's a brilliant moment made all the better by the fact that it's based on real events, and that the actual team (who were Swedish) play their rivals in the final showdown.
The Brydon is cast alongside people like Rupert Graves (Lestrade in Sherlock) and Thomas Turgoose (This Is England) leads to a wide range of brilliant performances, all subtly skewering different elements of masculinity and whiteness in a modern world. It's a film that asks "what's so wrong with having male friends outside of traditional male activities?" and it does so well. Whilst there's a rightful call for more diversity in the stories that are told in film and TV, it's also nice to see a new and very modern perspective on a group that tends to get all the limelight, particularly as it makes that out to be nuanced and flawed individuals. It's very British in that regard, and much better for it.
I've seen a few people complain that it isn't "funny enough", but I think that's missing the point. There are some great moments of humour on display, but like other classic British comedies such as The History Boys, the heart of the film is in the characters and the social analysis, not the jokes. And it does those things very well, whilst also creating a group of people who you find yourself begrudgingly liking and rooting for, even when they're at their worst. It's a wholesome and honest film that is well worth a watch.