Swingers (1996) / Comedy-Drama

MPAA Rated: R for language and sexuality
Running Time: 96 min.

Cast: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, Heather Graham, Patrick Van Horn, Alex Desert, Deena Martin, Katherine Kendall, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Director: Doug Liman
Screenplay: Jon Favreau
Review published December 6, 2005

Jon Favreau (PCU, Deep Impact) stars as Mike, is a recently relocated New Yorker trying to make it big as a comedian/actor in Hollywood, but finding that the road to his dreams is filled with one detour after another.   To compound his lack of work problems, Mike is also still reeling after six months from a messy breakup with the woman he loved back home, who has moved on to greener pastures (or so it seems) with someone else. Without much to look forward to during the day, Mike goes party and bar hopping with his similarly struggling friends, including his impetuous best buddy Trent (Vaughn, Lost World), who spontaneously coerces him to an impromptu trip to Vegas, hoping the change in scenery, and allure of hot women, will help Mike take his mind away from the botched relationship that has been eating him up at the core.

A cult favorite for many, Swingers is an amiable and fun comedy that entertains immensely, even if it seems like it isn't going anywhere in particular for the duration.  Star Favreau also wrote the screenplay, basing many of the events on his own experiences and friends (Vaughn and Livingston (Office Space, Two Ninas) are mostly playing themselves), resulting in very insightful observations and spot-on performances by all involved.

Liman's (Go, The Bourne Identity) direction is lively and in tune with the comical nature of things, weaving in a few moments of drama and the surreal with finesse.  As fine as everyone involved is, it is Vince Vaughn that steals the movie with a great character performance that would gain him a fan base of his own for many years to come, including popularizing the catchphrase, "You're so money". 

Ironic that a film about and starring so many struggling actors would make stars out of most involved, proving that sometimes when you lose, you win.  

Qwipster's rating:

2000, 2005 Vince Leo