"Swept Away" is a remake of a 1974 Italian film of the same name, about a spoiled socialite named Raffaella who goes on a Mediterranean cruise and becomes stranded on a deserted island with Gennarino, a sailor she'd tormented on board. He beats her into submission, their roles reverse, and they fall in desperate, passionate love, only to have reality rip them apart once they're rescued.
Guy Ritchie remade this film in 2002 with his wife Madonna in the lead role playing Amber, a wealthy bitchy type who is obsessed by fitness (yea we see her tanned toned yoga-trimmed body) and uses her wealth and position to belittle others. Amber's incessant nagging is constant and tolerated by her well-to-do American businessman hubby Tony (Bruce Greenwood) and their equally shallow and self-absorbed friends as they all enjoy a scenic chartered boat cruise on the Mediterranean. Unfortunately Amber seems to have taken an instant dislike for poor seaman Giuseppe (Adriano Giannini) who puts up with the name-calling (Pee Pee, Guido, and other derogatory Italian monikers) but is fed up with Amber's infuriating antics and secretly wishes that she go somewhere and drown herself.
The antagonism between the pair becomes more festered when they ultimately end up on a deserted island together. Naturally the volatile relationship undergoes a hate-love roller-coaster ride as the couple find themselves in a forced co-dependency stronghold. Because the pampered and blunt Amber got her way on the ship in the manner that she emasculated the hapless Giuseppe, the swarthy pretty boy gets a golden opportunity to turn the tables on his tormentor who won't get by without his instincts to guide her which leads to a good deal of unsettling sado-masochism as Giuseppe uses his newfound power over Amber to slap and kick her into calling him "master" and cater to his every whim!
The inevitable happens and Amber and Giuseppe are smitten with each other, into what the movie would have us believe is love but is really an outrageous plot device that would be laughable if it wasn't so creepy. Madonna cuts a fine figure in a teeny weeny black bikini and watching her tenderize octopuses by thrashing them on the rocks (having discarded her rich bitch persona), gives the film a bit of renewed life. We almost get to like the pair who have become a couple by necessity rather than choice. Adriano Giannini brings some charm to Giuseppe, and it's ironic that this, his first English language role, allows him to reprise the same role played by his father in the original 1974 film, directed by Lina Wertmüller.