Zoe Papadopoulos (Shannon Elizabeth) has a major meltdown on the women’s golf circuit resulting in a suspension. Wrestling with her inner demons, she attempts to find comfort and solace in going back to her roots, grandparents, and familiar surroundings in Greece. What she finds is much more beneficial than comfort—she finds strength and determination as she takes on an American developer (John O’Hurley).
Zoe is obviously struggling after burying her putter in the green on national television. Her meltdown has gone viral and there’s no escaping it, not even half way across the world in an idyllic little town in Greece. Unsure as to how to come back from this extraordinarily embarrassing and totally unprofessional situation, Zoe attempts to lose herself in Yaya and Papou’s cooking and baking. As she befriends a little girl who shows exceptional potential as a golfer, their relationship leads to fighting big business in an attempt to save not just the local golf course, but the identity and preservation of this quaint town. WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
“Swing Away” is a beautiful film visually, aesthetically, and emotionally. While it isn’t exactly unpredictable, it is a wonderfully pleasant reminder about who we are and what is truly important in life. The story is Zoe’s story as she initially wallows in self-pity, but then with the support of her family and eventually the town, we watch her grow as a woman and as a role model in her profession.
For those of us who grew up in a small town, these unique and quirky characters are exactly what we would picture for this town. The priest and the church are the center of everything, unless there’s a soccer match going on, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. Progress is bound to happen, interfering with the slow pace as “Glenn” (O’Hurley) comes in with developers, completely dismissing anyone’s worth, particularly a woman and a girl. Hmmm…does this sound familiar? I’ll let your mind take it from here. And yes, there’s a little love story, but it’s not overwhelming, it’s just a hint of one.
It’s a Davida vs. Goliath story complete with a challenge instead of a sling shot, but aim in most certainly necessary. Elizabeth gives a wonderful performance as Zoe who is not only beautiful, but insightful, caring, and smart. Her relationship with her grandparents is sweet, particularly with Yaya and Papou as they interact and react differently to Zoe. Her backstory acquaints us better to Zoe, allowing us to not only understand her better, but to also connect with her. Viktoria Miller who plays Stella, the golf prodigy, is equally adorable, but it is the main character’s backstories that give the film more layers of interest.
Many of the characters are a bit exaggerated, but that’s what makes this film fun. No one but O’Hurley could better portray the big-time American developer who is self-serving, pompous, and egotistical, giving the film the humor it needs and the perfect “bad guy” to root against.
The cinematography captures the essence of this gorgeous seaside town in Greece, beckoning the viewer to visit. The beauty of the colorful homes along narrow cobblestone streets and the presentation of homemade bread and savory pastries will make your mouth water as you crave a taste of Greece. Zoe and Stella could be golfers based on the editing of shots and swings. Who knows? Maybe they truly are, that’s how spot-on perfect the editing is.
“Swing Away” is an entertaining film that will make you laugh aloud and bring a smile to your face. Beneath the surface, however, you are reminded of how important a sense of community truly is and preservation of a quality of life. Progress doesn’t always mean money. “Swing Away” isn’t just about golf…it’s just the vehicle to drive us to the fairway and get that hole in one. For more information about seeing this film on VOD, go to swingawaymovie.com