Sink Or Swim

A successful but burned-out TV writer-producer named Brian (Stephen Rea) nearly self destructs when his agent accepts a 22-episode production deal on his behalf. Although Brian no longer has the wherewithal for this nerve-wracking assignment, two hungry writing teams, Hank (John Ritter) & Neal (Dave Foley) and Benny (Richard Kind) & Ira (Dusty Kay), desperately...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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A successful but burned-out TV writer-producer named Brian (Stephen Rea) nearly self destructs when his agent accepts a 22-episode production deal on his behalf. Although Brian no longer has the wherewithal for this nerve-wracking assignment, two hungry writing teams, Hank (John Ritter) & Neal (Dave Foley) and Benny (Richard Kind) & Ira (Dusty Kay), desperately need him, as head writer, to come through. While his potential employees clamor for his emotional and professional comeback, Brian languishes at home, only to become unexpectedly fascinated by an altercation he glimpses at the hotel next door. At the hotel bar, he meets Georgia (Illeana Douglas), one of the argument's participants; she feeds him colorful info which stirs up his creative juices. Although Georgia beds Brian and quickly becomes his much-needed muse, Neal recognizes that she's just another unemployed writer angling for a break. Despite fleeting moments of hilarity, this black comedy nearly chokes viewers with all the caper-like coincidences they're forced to swallow. Like the equally far-fetched SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, this brittle tale of one-upmanship does skewer a contemporary foible or two and offers some keen observations about TV professionals who've jettison their scruples to remain on top, but by the time it resolves itself in an unexpectedly devious finale, viewers will be bored with Brian's breakdowns and his underlings' various self-advancement techniques. And must writer's block always correlate to sexual frustration?

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