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March 13, 2015

Treading Water: A Truly Delightful Fish Out Of Water Comedy.

— Posted by Kenny Miles


Treading Water is a charming and romantic modern-day coming of age love story told through the eyes of a sensitive boy who is forced to face life with a rare condition that leaves him smelling like a fish. With his strange ailment, our young hero Mica (Douglas Smith) sadly grows to accept that he may never find happiness… until, as a young boy, he meets Laura (Zoë Kravitz) who seems to not notice Mica’s unique odor and wants to be his friend. Raised by his eccentric mother Sophie (Ariadna Gil) and his unstable father Richard (Don McKellar) who eventually abandons the family, Mica grows up in a house that’s an over-the-top gaudy museum celebrating the renowned Mexican crooner Guillermo Garibai (Gonzalo Vega). Even as Mica’s therapist Catherine (Carrie-Anne Moss) gently guides him through his daily troubles it becomes more and more obvious that only his childhood crush Laura can actually cure what ails him. With heroes, heroines, friends and foes, this heartwarming fish-out-of-water tale takes us on the emotional rollercoaster ride of a young life filled with everything from loneliness to falling in love to legendary crooners and a lavish Busby Berkeley-like synchronized swimming fantasy finale. (C) The Orchard


Treading Water is an interesting, if not odd, premise for a movie. It is a sweet one that explores harsh realities of teenage insecuriities in a unique way. I did find a scene earlier in the film where heartbreaking in its tenderness with relational brokenness. Mica spends a lot of his time in the pool. Underwater hidden from the burdens of his life, he is at home more so then with his eccentric mother who loves him even if she doesn’t always show it. He meets a woman named Laura at the pool and they become friends. The insecurities of his stench is a metaphor for the harsh brutal uncomfortable moments that define puberty. The meetings with his counselor played by Carrie Ann Moss were awkward yet rather tender while drifted away from realism. They are uncomfortable sessions as he deals with the issues.


I enjoyed the chemistry within the developing relationship between Mica and Laura in Treading Water. This was my favorite part of the movie. I felt like the ending left more to be desired, but I’m glad some characters reconnected over others. The closing credits are truly bizarre and didn’t fit with the movie. I enjoyed the charming aspects of Treading Water despite its imperfections in the storytelling. I find myself rooting for a little movie like this especially when it embraces cultural diversity during a time where the film industry is so play it safe while being rather bland. At least Treading Water tries to do something different. Though it doesn’t always succeed, this reviewer cannot help but admire a sweet coming of age movie just like Treading Water.


I rate Treading Water a 6 out of 10.




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who has written 291 posts on The Movie Blog

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

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Naked Gun 33 ½ : The Final Insult
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