Swingers
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111 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2003
Swingers could be a hip movie, a Guys movie, great-sagacious-advice movie, a warm-amusing movie, this-is-what-friendship-is-about movie, or simply one of the most facetious for-a-lark flicks of the 90s. But whatever tag you wish to stick on it, this honest, low-budget humdinger from Liman is very very "money"!
Top 10 reasons to get your hands on this movie now:
(1) It's fast-paced, well edited (not one wasted scene) and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. If you hear people dismiss this as an inconsequential narrative about a "bunch of losers trying to get laid", I'm afraid they just have not watched the entire movie. I am not into the "Spy who shagged me" genre of humor, but this movie will truly grow on you.
(2) It'll ring a bell with almost anyone, particularly guys. Mike -- a crestfallen loverboy (Jon Favreau) is in the throes of a breakup, and his confidence has hit rock bottom. (Sidenote: Favreau is a very ordinary looking guy, which in fact imho is the power of his character.) Under the aegis of his friend Trent (Vince Vaughn, in top form, a lot better than his controlled acting in, gulp, The Psycho) Mike re-learns how to get back up on his feet and take reins of his life/emotions again. While this happens, we are treated to a bunch of every-day faux pas that we all can identify with in a blink. Interested yet?
(3) The boys' camaraderie is infectious. If you watch this movie with friends -- and this indeed is the best way to watch it! -- you'll know what I mean. This has to be one of the most honest portrayals of relationships between friends -- both the lover and the platonic variety.
(4) Call me weird but I loved the sound track, a delectable blend of underground jazz and triphop.
(5) Some of the "get back on your feet" dialogue for Mike is truly marvellous, and makes for better, more down-to-earth, more inspiring advice about life and relationships than Dr. Ruth and Oprah put together.
(6) An interesting look at the Los Angeles we never see in films, the underground life of the struggling actors and writers and less glamorous people, not living in Malibu opulence as seen in other weaker films.
(7) Some great Sega Genesis NHL ice-hockey "footage" (to use a dignified term) and an unusual preview of seeing Gretzky's head knocked.
(8) This is to men what "Sex and the City" is to women. (Ok, SATC has had a lot more time than Swingers to entice us with the workings of the Modern Woman, but you get the idea)
(9) A wide assortment of one-liners for you to conveniently plagiarize from. Not seen in a single movie since Roxanne with Steve Martin.
(10) Oh, and it's so laid back, its horizontal. No spiffy visual FX, no crash boom bang, no cheap frills. But still a high handsome homerun.
Required Viewing.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 16, 2006
It's shocking to see, here on Amazon, that this movie only grossed $5 million in the theaters. Swingers has gone on to become an incredibly popular movie. It made Vince Vaughn's career as an actor and defined Jon Favreau's career both as an actor and as a writer.

This is the kind of movie that every man can relate to on at least one level. Most men can probably relate to both of the main characters: each representing one side of us in our dealings with women. On the one hand, the sensitive man who isn't afraid to reveal himself - and on the other hand, the player, who doesn't have any pretentions and makes no apologies for his brash behavior. Both are real and both have their pros and cons. They are both well-represented in Swingers.

I first saw this movie when I was about 17 years old. I loved the characters and I loved the flow of the movie, but I find that when I watch it now (in my mid-20s), I appreciate it on a whole different level. For those of us who are shy and reserved, this movie almost makes you want to come out of your shell. It can almost be called "inspirational" in how it will goad you to get the hell out there are let it all hang out. Great lines are delivered throughout the script. Mike and Trent compliment each other very well and they have some great scenes together.

This is an indie-film classic. The kind of movie that you never get tired of.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 1998
I had to be talked into renting this movie, thinking it would be something along the lines of "In the Company of Men," and just wasn't interested in spending two hours watching a bunch of self-absorbed hipster wanna-be's smarm their way across by TV screen. More wrong, I could not have been. Engaging, always surprising, tender, funny, extremely funny, sad. A movie guys will love, a movie gals will love. The hip, Rat Pack-esque language will stick with you, and somehow the guys don't come off as pretentious for using it. Makes you want to learn how to drink scotch and swing dance. The relationship bewteen the guys is THE best thing I've seen. Relationships between intelligent guys are simple on the surface, but truly are complex. The characters do the usual guy stuff, but they really care about each other deeply as friends. A fascinating study. Reminded me of my boyfriend's dorm in college. The cast obviously works so hard to make it feel real, but they understand their characters so deeply, you can't tell how hard they're working until after the movie is over. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll spill your popcorn.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 1999
I may not be able to relate to it as well as I can to, say, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, but I have never laughed so hard at any movie in my life. And relating isn't so important if you can understand and empathize the characters. I saw a little bit of me in Trent (loud, outspoken) and a little of my friends in Mike and Sue. It helps the average girl understand the not-so-normal thinking of the not-so-average guy that we all end up falling for. And besides all that, it's realistic. Name another '90's movie that is more realistic. The story is great, the acting perfect, the direction great. Buy this or rent it. No matter what your gender.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
One day I saw a glimpse of a scene from the movie Swingers. It was the "is she looking at me now? No. She hasn't looked at you all night..." scene. That was the only scene I saw and I thought, "That looks kinda funny. I should see it one day." When I finally saw it, "That looks kinda funny" was a definite understatement. That movie kept my friends and I in stitches all night. It wasn't for sale on video yet, so I spent a small fortune renting it about three times a month. All my friends and I could see ourselves in that movie. I was the Mikey of my group because my girlfriend had broken up with me six months before I saw this masterpiece and I was still broken up about her. If you can't get over your break up with a girl, and are looking for a replacement, but with no luck, you MUST see this movie. It spoke to me and now I use it as my guide for life. Whenever you feel depressed about beautiful babies not going for you, flip this movie on and check it out. You'll feel better, guaranteed.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
"Your Money, your so Money, you don't even know your Money!"

Classic, great everyday, anyday movie. If your in a rainy day mood its "Money", break-up with your girlfriend mood, its "Money", and last but not least ... Showing allllll the "Pretty Babies" you have this movie in your collection ... "MONEY" !!!!!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2000
"Swingers" really reminded me of "Good Will Hunting" in that it was written by and stars struggling actors who decided to go out and create their own success. It is a low-budget gabfest type movie, with no real action taking place; but it is a fun, highly entertaining film nonetheless. The plot revolves around five struggling actors in L.A., who go from party to party looking for "beautiful babies" and career opportunities. They are sort of a modern "rat pack", led by the fast-talking and charismatic Trent (Vince Vaughn, who carries the movie with a star-making performance). "Swingers" features hilarious, witty writing and some enjoyable performances from its up-and-coming stars. We are so entertained by their antics that we forget that nothing really signifficant is happening. Credit is due for spawning some great catch phrases too. The DVD doesn't come with any great special features. It comes in widescreen format with a theatrical trailer. The soundtrack is worth owning for lovers of great swing-jazz music. Overall a great movie and a good investment.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2000
Being above the targeted age demographic for this gloriously original and exhilarating comedy, I was expecting another inane "twenty something" slag of dung, filled with crude language, falsely profound statements and promiscuity galore.
It's great to be dead wrong.
I now think "Swingers" is one of the great comedy sleepers of the 1990s.
From its opening musical bars of a 1950s Rat Pack tune to its frequent homages to great films made during the past 15 years -- "everything is retro" hipness in "Swingers" -- truly, in my opinion, a near comedic masterpiece, filled with brio, gusto and non-stop intelligence.
This is the story of a young man's woe of a break-up that comes too soon and his delusional efforts to escape his past by "going west, young man" -- as if a change in scenery -- will be just the thing to mend a broken heart.
But while Vince Vaughn steals the show, it is Jon Favreau's acting in the lead role and his screenplay that makes "Swingers" perhaps the most mis-titled great film of 1996.
What we learn in "Swingers" is what we already know, but brilliantly realized on film in the form of a laugh-a-minute and ultimately touching comedy that illustrates most vividly that even moving yourself thousands of miles away doesn't make things easier when you've been dumped by the love of your life. You are incapable of breaking out of a funk to find a replacement girl -- that you believe -- simply doesn't exist.
After the sixth or seventh viewing, this old codger in his 40s is convinced that "Swingers" is a film that should be seen by people of all ages, filled with bittersweet observations, hilarious confrontations and an eternally joyous feeling of vicariously watching others go through that critical period when finding the "right person" seems as elusive as finding the missing sock in a clothes dryer. From beginning to end, "Swingers" is filled with smart dialogue and an undercurrent of nostalgia that rings true and familiar for every viewer regardless of whether you're a baby boomer, a Generation X'er, Y'er, whatever. Its themes of searching for "the right one" and their associated pain and embarrassment have been done before, but never with such cutting humor and a sense of urgency that asks aloud whether the storybook way our parents found love can be brought to today's sensibilities. And the big-band music and classic crooner soundtrack is a constant reminder of our parent's past. These elements, bringing the past to the present and vice versa, makes "Swingers" accessible to every generation and still wildly entertaining after multiple viewings.
"Swingers" is a five-star mix of gin and tonic for the soul, boasting a drop-dead funny, hilariously timed ending that leaves you smiling from ear to ear, and a resolution that, while satisfying, doesn't come cheap. Without giving it away, when Favreau's character utters the line, "it just didn't occur to me," one is dumbstruck by the ringing bell of common sense that dictates that despite all adversity, life does go on, and all that was wrong with the world can suddenly be made right when it's your turn in the spotlight.
Not everyone can reach the goals Favreau's character reaches by the end of "Swingers," but the intelligence and thought processes Favreau's script brings to the screen makes everything not only plausible, but familiar to anyone who's gone through the up and down machinations of true romance.
And what about Vince Vaughn? He's more than just a pretty boy, more than just comic relief in this, his breakout role. He's the childish but fun-loving guy who carries the "I could die tomorrow so let's have fun today" torch, and he carries it with hilarity while still displaying genuine affection for the trials and tribulations of his aggrieved best friend, played by Favreau. This is the heart of "Swingers" success. Great script, great acting, great production values. I urge everyone who has yet to see this film, to do so immediately. The "R" rating is for language, nothing else. This one's a winner, a treasure, one of the best films of 1996 or for any year, for that matter.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Jon Favreau (the writer and director of Swingers, Iron Man, Elf, etc.), is basically me. He's semi-geeky, witty, and likes to place himself in the false reality of thinking he's more of a ladies man than he truly is. It's all over his films, and Swingers is no exception.

In Swingers, we have a group of late-twenties friends, led by their alpha-male chieftain Trent (played by Vince Vaughn in perhaps his greatest role to date), who is in the process of trying to get "Mikey" (played by Favreau) back in the game relationally after a bad breakup with his girlfriend six months before. Mikey is resistant at first, and drops the ball multiple times in some of the funniest attempted land-a-date sequences I've ever witnessed, but eventually and predictably for the silver-lining Favreau, comes around with in the finale of the film.

But my bone to pick lies here, as it did with Favreau's role in 'Love and Sex', is that he has almost delcared himself the "lovable underdog" type. We get it, Jon-boy, you're the sweetest little tool in town and the woman, once they get to know you, adore you. I mean, look at women he ends up with in the two romantic comedies he's done...

Heather Graham * Swingers
Famke Janssen * Love and Sex

I'll just come right out and say it: his films, while they are hilariously witty, leave me depressed during those aftertaste portions a few hours after the credits roll on. Why you ask? Simple: because guys like me and Favreau DO NOT end up with Heather Grahams or Famke Janssens. We end up with the nut jobs of the world, sociopath women like Juliette Lewis and overbearing motherly-types like Katie Couric. Favreau, I think, should somehow incorporate those two in his next film. Until that day, I'm not buying it, Jon-Jon, I'm not buying your little "I'm the lovable loser who ends up with the hottie" routine.

That doesn't mean I won't stop watching or laughing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2000
I think every guy--at one point or another in his life--can associate with the character of Mike (played by Jon Favreau) in "Swingers": he's living in LA, having trouble holding down a job, and is still getting over the breakup of a six-year relationship. Favreau's portrayal of an average Joe who tenses up around women and ends up blowing his chances by talking about his ex is vindicative of the modern male.
"Swingers" is a breezy adventure through the clubs and nightlife of Los Angeles, as a group of friends and struggling actors go out and attempt to score with the "beautiful babies." They're led by Trent (Vince Vaughn), a hepcat guy who talks smooth and has no problem scoring, and is the general example of "cool."
Favreau, who wrote the script, is excellent at portraying an everyman, probably because he doesn't possess prettyboy good looks and his dialogue is so down-to-earth and funny. Actually, even the most minor supporting performance stands out in "Swingers" because of the high energy all around.
This is a very funny portrayal of the modern dating scene that works because we can associate with the characters. Doug Liman's documentary-style directing helps give the proceedings an accuracy that it might not have had if handled by someone else.
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