Film Review: Swingers


Swingers is one of those films which has been on my radar for awhile, partially because of Jon Favreau’s recent sharp rise in Hollywood notoriety, but also as a cult classic. It’s one of those films that, along with Dazed & Confused, had the distinction of having its poster displayed on my dorm wall. Neither of which I had seen at the time—I’ve now seen both! Mission accomplished.

Jon Favreau wrote this film while he was a struggling actor, and slowly raised support for the film. He based the plot and characters on people he knew, and I can tell that he had a passion for it. He plays Mike, a comedian/actor who recently relocated to the West Coast from New York in hopes of furthering his career. Not only is he struggling to find work, but he is desperately trying to move on from the girlfriend who broke up with him when he left New York.

Trent (Vince Vaughn) is Mike’s best friend who has made it his mission to help Mike move on. They go to Las Vegas to help Mike get back his confidence, but he just can’t do it. What made this movie its mark is its documentary-like precision in capturing the night club scene of Los Angeles that was all the rage in the 1990s.

The film is pervasively funny—Vince Vaughn, as always, is hilarious as the master of improvisation and timing (one of the reasons I love Wedding Crashers) and Jon Favreau, while I think he’s a better writer and director than an actor, is sincere and plays with heart. The film is somewhat dated, but as it kind of depends on the culture in which it is set, I don’t think it detracts.

This is another that I really enjoyed, and I’ll accept its place on the Modern Classic list, but not toward the top, maybe the lower half.

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