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Hip and Hilarious-critics and audiences alike are raving about this must-see comedy hit that's so money, it catapulted Vince Vaughn (The Break-Up, Wedding Crashers) and Jon Favreau (Couples Retreat, Iron Man) to stardom! It's the laugh-out-loud look at a fun group of friends who spend their days looking for work and their nights in and out of hollywood's coolest after-hours hangouts! When the lovesick Mike (Jon Favreau) can't seem to shake a relationship rut, his smooth, fast talking buddy Trent (Vince Vaughn) decides he'll do whatever it takes to show Mike a good time! Whether laughing over martinis in smoky cocktail lounges...or searching for beautiful babies on an outrageous road trip to Vegas, the young Swingers are determined to rewrite the rules of modern dating!
For anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the Los Angeles "lounge" scene that was in vogue during the early and mid-1990s, here's the movie that virtually defined that brief but colorful nightlife milieu. As an added bonus, it just happens to be a very funny, observant story about love, loss, and male bonding among a group of friends who struggle to find decent jobs by day, and lurk through Hollywood's hottest nightclubs by night. A sort of latter-day Rat Pack, they include Mike (writer-actor Jon Favreau) and his closest buddy, Trent (Vince Vaughn), who are waiting for the big show-biz break that seems to be eluding them. Mike's twisted up about the girlfriend he left back East to pursue his going-nowhere standup comedy career, and Trent uses the word "money" as an adjective ("Man, we look totally money tonight") with such frequency that you may find yourself slipping into lounge-lizard mode after watching the movie. One of the most noteworthy indie-film success stories of the '90s, this time-capsule comedy seized its moment in the spotlight, launched several promising careers, and continues to maintain its lasting appeal. --Jeff Shannon
• Art Imitates Life: Writing the Story
• Life Creates Art: Getting “Swingers” Made
• Life Imitates Art: “Swingers” Culture
• Art Creates Life: Life After “Swingers”
• The Cutting Room Floor
• Audio Commentary
• Illustrated Action Commentary
• “Swingblade” Short Film
• Original Theatrical Trailer
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For starters, is there a main character less likable than Jon Favreau's weak Mikey? The pinnacle of dislike was the maddening scene where Mike calls a girl he just met about a dozen times, leaving more and more paranoid and desperate messages. What adult does this? I might expect this from a thirteen year old, but an adult? Thankfully, the girl bluntly asks him to never call again and we are relieved that the universe has taken its pound of flesh from this most disagreeable moron. Perhaps, in a better actor's care, this unlikeable character might've had a chance to engender some empathy, but in the hands of writer Favreau, he is an expressionless clod, schlepping his way through his purposeless life. As the writer of this mess, one can only assume that this was some vanity piece extraordinaire with the writer/lead envisioning himself as the hard-talking mug dealing with heartbreak over some dame....or words to that effect.
Secondly, the dialogue is painfully ridiculous. While it's possible that people talked like this during the very brief retro movement in the nineties, I sincerely doubt they used their secret-club phrases as inexplicably often as they do here. I honestly began to wonder if there wasn't some drinking game associated with this movie wherein you chugged every time you heard the word "money" or a derivation of the word "baby," It's the only sensible explanation.
Lastly, the movie gave me no reason to like any character in the movie. There were some brief moments when the character played by Office Space's Robert Livingston had something worthwhile to say and the character Lorraine (replete with her 40s name and 40s coif - one of the frequent and pandering tips of the fedora to the hip days of yore) seems to have potential, but that's it. Oddly enough, the one movie that this reminds me of as an example of how well you can do anti-heroes and periphery-dwelling people is Napoleon Dynamite. I almost wish that he would've appeared in this movie and replaced some of their painfully cool Scotch drinks with some bleach-tainted milk. It would've been the only funny thing in the movie. Maybe I could tolerate the utter lack of concern for anything beyond the next night's adventures if these were high school kids, but these are supposed to be men making their way in life and all they do is puff up their chests, try way too hard to be cool, and piss and moan about their love lives. They are little more than insipid male stereotypes.
What about Vince Vaughn you ask? Well, try as he may to breathe life into his two dimensional role, he falls flat. The high point of the movie is his drunken take in the diner and that's only because you realize that you hate his character equally as much as the other self-indulgent stupid male clichés. Guys get drunk. Guys scam on women. Guys play video games. Money, Baby! Ugh!!
In summary, Favreau attempts to make a hip version of the Guys Being Stupid buddy movie. It's certainly a sub-genre full of possibilities but in "Swingers" it is little more than a boring, un-funny waste of time. It borrows unapologetically from many movies, from the Rat Pack vibe to the Woody Allen love-angst and through the "Diner" self-examinations, but skims only the surface and fails to support it with characters of interest, witty dialogue, or social/cultural observations. A bunch of guys go drinking in and around L.A., looking for sex, and talking about their job-less lives. How am I supposed to feel anything towards a bunch of guys who sponge off their parents while they waste their days playing Pitch n' Putt and ordering expensive drinks at Hollywood watering holes? Clearly, I didn't feel anything but contempt and frustration for the time I wasted with this self-indulgent garbage. Thankfully, I can take it back to the place I bought it from and trade it in for something else. This movie is awful.
The audience is spoonfed only one redeeming moment in the entire film: our man Money finds a new babe and life turns a 180. Simple. Comb your hair, go outside. I guess it's a tad inspirational but total zip on the educational quotient.
Given almost 20 years of fermenting, I soured on Favreau's talent with such a sophomoric script. He was just aching to get even with the one who got away and it shows the deepest desperation and underhanded cruelty. Very disappointed that these friends were more like mooches, used each other, mostly ignoring their emotional needs.
Having difficulty discerning why nothing really happens here, save the Gretsky blood battle. I decided to watch this after an interview with Favreau and Tim Ferris, where he unabashedly was disarmed at the cult status of the film. Not sure what planet he sustains himself but this um, status, in hind sight would be an embarrassment and only admonition could prove elevating.
High recommend for mega juveniles who know nothing of LA. Swingers is a complete miss out of left field.
Who hasn’t been in a position like Mike’s in the film where he is trying to move on and get past his old girlfriend. Or meeting someone new and looking at the phone wondering should you call or wait a day or two. Mike has a group of pals who keep him motivated to hit the town and meet new women and move on with his life. Dorothy looked pretty hot to me in the movie.
Vince Vaughn who plays “Trent” in the movie is excellent and really steals the best scenes in the movie. But at the same time that Trent is a showman and a ladies’ man, he is most fulfilled when his best friend Mike is happy. I love the way the guys talk in the film I thought it was funny and interesting throughout. So funny when Mike's buddy says “I was playing Hamlet 2 months ago and now can’t even play Goofy at Disneyland” just kills me, hilarious scene.
The movie is a little bit hard to watch at times because in many ways I was like Mike’s character, when I was single in my 20’s I couldn’t get a date to save my life. Felt like I had the black plague or leprosy when it came to meeting single women. Yet when I found a girlfriend every hot girl in the world wanted to get to know me. It’s like where the hell were they when I was single? Such is life.
The movie is strongest in these scenes where you know Mike is going to make a mistake or come off as too desperate but you are constantly rooting for him to succeed. The film doesn’t really explore his actual job and you wonder where all the guys get money to go out on the town every night. You would think that being a standup comedian would make you a very big extrovert providing lots of people to meet and get to know. Mike could make fun of his failures in the dating world like Woody Allen and meet women that way.
The title is a bit misleading when I saw the title I didn’t think they were referring to the swing dance music scene. By the end of the movie I felt the film had a positive message about taking a chance on someone new. Mike’s friends are over the moon for him and you wish you had buddies like that in real life.
Overall I think Swingers is a very good movie I would rate it 4 1/2 stars. Be ready for a lot of cussing and “baby, you’re in the money”. This is the type of movie I want my own kids to watch when they get older and start the dating process. I know they will get hurt and make mistakes but I want them to see how having such a good group of friends can help you get through the toughest obstacles in life.
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I like all of these actors.Read more