Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro, T.E. Russell
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 101 minutes
A harsh, cutting, and wickedly funny look into the darker side of show business, Swimming with Sharks tells the story of a naive and eager assistant (Frank Whaley) and his slide into the cutthroat world of Hollywood power struggles. Whaley goes to work for a top movie executive (Kevin Spacey) who almost immediately begins to wear down his new assistant's exuberance with his whining, egomaniacal tantrums and relentless verbal abuse, even as he promises his young charge a chance to move up the ladder. Culminating in a violent and ultimately ironic confrontation between mentor and protégé, this brutal 1994 black comedy benefits from some razor-sharp writing and terrific comic turns from both Whaley (Hoffa) as one whose idealism is irrevocably shattered, and Spacey (Seven, L.A. Confidential), deliciously funny as a caustic, belligerent, and ultimately sad figure. A savage indictment of both the movie business and the price of ambition, Swimming with Sharks is one of the best black comedies in recent years. --Robert Lane
Your job is unfair to you? Grow up, way it goes. People use you? Life's unfair? Grow up, way it goes. Your girlfriend doesn't love you? Tough shit, way it goes. Your wife gets raped and shot, and they leave their unfinished beers... stinking longnecks just lying there on the... So be it, way it goes.
What I am concerned with is detail. I asked you go get me a packet of Sweet-N-Low. You bring me back Equal. That isn't what I asked for. That isn't what I wanted. That isn't what I needed and that shit isn't going to work around here.
I, I just thought...
You thought. Do me a fucking favor. Shut up, listen, and learn. Look, I know that this is your first day and you don't really know how things work around here, so I will tell you. You have no brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for me. You are here to protect my interests and to serve my needs. So, while it may look like a little thing to you, when I ask for a packet of Sweet-N-Low, that's what I want. And it's your responsibility to see that I get what I want.