Mike is dramatically depressed after his long time girlfriend dumps him and almost immediately starts dating a new guy. Mike's best friend, Trent, tries to break Mike into the dating scenes and starts off in deep, but easy waters of Vegas. Mike quickly falls on his face. They return home and Trent continues to try and lift Mike's spirits and help him find happiness in a woman one way or another...
"I want you to be the guy in the 'R' rated movie."
Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Go, Jumper, Edge of Tomorrow, Fair Game, and the upcoming Gambit as well as Edge of Tomorrow 2, delivers Swingers. The storyline for this picture is fun and funny in some ways. The writing is better than average and the characters are very well portrayed. The cast includes Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Heather Graham, Ron Livingston, and Brooke Langton.
"I need to use the phone."
I randomly came across this on Netflix and decided to give it a viewing. I'm actually a little ashamed I had never seen this, but while this was entertaining, it wasn't a masterpiece or too worth going out of your way to see. I recommend seeing this once if nothing better is on.
"Vegas, baby! Vegas!"
Most of the time, you want him around - he's the fun friend that makes you extra witty when in his presence. But for now, he's the last person Mike (Jon Favreau) needs. A struggling comedian trying to adjust from New York to Los Angeles, Mike is just getting over a brutal breakup with his girlfriend of six years. Though it's been six months since they last spoke, he can't seem to think of anything besides the relationship he was once a part of. He'd rather drown in his self-pity than move on, but Trent is determined that a couple of one-night-stands and couple of memorable flirtations will do him some good. Maybe he's right - but to Mike, looking for romance is about as appealing as competing in a triathlon on an empty stomach, fifty pounds overweight.
But you can't turn down Trent's pep talks when he's determined, now can you?
1996's "Swingers," directed by Doug Liman and written by Favreau, is perhaps not the bromantic comedy I've made it out to be - I've only done so because this central story is the single piece of story really to be found amid its never-ending conversations. It's a talking movie of the "Chasing Amy" sort, concerned with the banter its characters participate in more than the coordination of something plot-driven. I don't have much of a problem with that so long as the talking's compelling and well-staged, and Favreau, fortunately, is a writer able to make restaurant booth exchanges and long-winded stories have luminosity that make the mundane more bewitching than the cinematic.
That's a feat, too. Favreau, who wrote the screenplay with his close friends in mind, concocts characters and relationships that go beyond plain convincing - the characters are as unintentionally hilarious as they are effortlessly human, hardly a faux result of Screenwriting 101. And the actors do Favreau's writing justice; though his own performance as the film's focal lonelyheart is the best and most touching of "Swingers," Vaughn is spectacular as his loud-mouthed sidekick, Ron Livingston effective as the stable counter to Vaughn's Trent, and Heather Graham, who shows up during the film's finale, is a sweet, potential love interest worthy of Mike's vulnerabilities.
"Swingers" is more a chatterbox than it is a straightforward comedy, drama, or romance, but get lost in the dialogue and you'll like the direction it takes you. Favreau's writing is as defiantly naturalistic as it is easily funny, Liman's direction breezy. And sidelined with Vaughn's charismatic, star-making turn, "Swingers" makes for a film of youthful cool we don't mind bowing down to.
Written by Favreau and loosely based on he and Vaughn's life and friendship, Swingers is about a group of struggling actors who are involved in the '90s Hollywood swing revival. It follows Mike (Favreau), a New York native who can't get over his ex-girlfriend. But his friends, most notably Trent (Vaughn), try getting him out of his depression by forcing him back out onto the playing field.
Both leads are fantastic. Vaughn wows the audience with his unique brand of fast-talking humor. And Favreau is so convincing as a wallowing sad sack that you genuinely feel bad for the guy.
The scene towards the beginning where the pair of friends go to Las Vegas sets the tone for the entire movie. It establishes a style that is vehemently consistent throughout.
Swingers has everything that will make you want to drive to Los Angeles and Las Vegas right this second. It ties together the glitz and glamour of both cities, seamlessly connecting the two. But I think what captures the neon vibe of the film's locations is the juxtaposition of failing to make it. This failure, of course, isn't stressed. It's still opportunity. It's optimism.
Neither Mike nor Trent have had much success in the industry, but Trent is still having the time of his life, while Mike's only reason to be down on himself is his breakup. The film paints a perfect portrait of confident mediocrity, and being complacent with it.
The story's exposition takes its time, but in a perfect way. Every scene has a sincere purpose and contributes to establishing the depth of its characters. But it's beyond just the characters. A movie is refreshingly good if even the circumstances have depth. In fact, that's when it's great.
Twizard Rating: 97