When one reveals that one works as a film critic, people always say that it must be a wonderful job. Sometimes it's more of a public service. People like me go to see films like Adrift so that people like you don't have to.

Adrift is the story of a group of six former college friends who meet up to celebrate a birthday aboard a luxury yacht. Some miles out into the ocean, four of them decide to go for a swim. Young mother Amy declines, terrified of water after a traumatic incident in her childhood. In an attempt to cure her fear, loudmouth Zach grabs hold of her and dives overboard with her. As he forgets to let down the ladder before doing so, the six then find themselves stranded in the water, unable to get back aboard. And that's pretty much it. With so many characters, we know from the start that they're not all going to make it, but the ways in which they manage to come to grief are almost as ridiculous as their inability to use the many simple methods available for regaining access to the boat (it would help if they were a little less stupid - letting the heaviest guy climb up something which he's already torn once is really imbecilic, as is throwing things away when they fail to be of use on the first attempt). One of them gives up and swims away, looking for help, much like several of the critics in my press screening. One cannot help but long for them to hurry up and drown and get it over with.

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Aiming to fill the 90 odd minutes which will make this (at least look like) a feature film, the scriptwriters have the stranded characters engage in what might have been supposed to be soul-searching discussion, with awkward revelations and macho stand-offs aplenty, yet despite this almost all the characters are underdeveloped. Only Susan May Pratt convinces, as Amy, though Ali Hillis works impressively hard with the fewest lines of all. Cameron Richardson's Michelle is never allowed to be anything more than a dumb blonde, giving the impression that even the writers don't care about these people. It's difficult for anyone else to care when they do nothing but whine and pointlessly make their situation worse. If you can't find anything better to do with an hour and a half than watch this film, you might as well go and drown yourself.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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Six party-goers find themselves stranded in the ocean, unable to get back aboard their yacht. Out to own on DVD from December 26.
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Read more Adrift reviews:

Angus Wolfe Murray ****
Moominkat ***

Director: Hans Horn

Writer: Adam Kreutner, Collin McMahon

Starring: Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr., Niklaus Lange, Ali Hills, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane, Mattea Gabarretta

Year: 2006

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Germany

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