Starring: Gabrielle Anwar, Sean Astin, Jason Lewis, Robert Mailhouse, Chris Rydell, Molly Ringwald
Director: Frederick Golchan
Year of release: 1999
Country: USA
screen shots

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Plot summary
Oh dear, this is about as painful as it gets and I'm not just talking about the rowing.

Loosely based on a Guy de Maupassant short story, Kimberly (which was released on DVD in 2005 renamed "Daddy Who") revolves around four aging novice men (well they certainly row like novices) who spend their spare time rowing badly in a coxless four and being beaten by their arch enemies who are all about 2 ft taller.

Through several minutes of painfully wooden exposition at the beginning of the film we quickly learn that each of the boys has unique problems with women. The four are not so much characters as they are caricatures: Bob is an aging frat boy, Michael is a womanizer, Walter is afraid of commitment, and Scott (the only one who looks anything like a real rower) is the good-looking sensitive one, who acts like a closet homosexual, but turns out to be just a workaholic yuppie with pushy parents.

Down on the dock one day, they start letching at a skinny English girl whilst putting their boat on the water, she turns out to be a good rower (and daughter of an Olympian) and they manage to convince her to become their coach and coxswain so they have a shot at entering the "Kingsbury regatta".

Despite the foursome’s vow to each other not to shag their new coach, she is simply too enticing and suddenly (whoops!) Kimberly is dating all of them at the same time (reminds me of a few coxn's I could mention).

She enjoys a couple of heart-warming scenes of cliché-ridden romance with each of them and then (whoops again!) discovers that she’s pregnant. Now the four friends must figure out how to help Kimberly through her pregnancy and keep their friendship together.

Wacky hijinks follow, along with a lot of oversimplified emotions. Finally, after the ridiculous slapstick labour scene, with Bob the pratish strokeman giving coxing calls and asking for "strong finishes", we discover that Kimberly knew who the daddy was all along and has helped the boys become marginally less stupid along the way. Hooray!

Rowing info
About the only reason worth watching this film is for the nice shots of Philadelphia and the Schuylkill, of which there are plenty along with lots of footage around Boathouse Row (many of the scenes feature Undine and Penn AC). Indeed, the diner that you see them eating in is actually the trophy room in Penn AC.

There is quite a lot of rowing throughput the movie, including scenes with Ted Nash and several philly rowers can be spotted - most are cast as the 'bad guys' crew - Curt Browder, Chris Duffy, Soma Bockleman, and Dixon Gillis.

Ted stars as a race commentator / starter and should probably be charged with crimes against rowing for taking part, but then again being associated with this film for life is probably punishment enough.

Plot wise the rowing isn't much better that the rest of the movie, as the qualifying race for "Kingsbury" regatta occurs nine months before the race... which of course our motley crew win - but only because they think an ambulance has arrived to take Kimberly off to hospital to have the baby and pull a bit harder... muppets.

Also on show is some quality product placement from JL, though the actors only get into lyrca for the big race and you won't spot them anywhere near a unisuit (thank god).

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