With a title like Swingers, you might think that this is a movie about wife swapping but I assure you it’s not. I found this hilarious comedy searching through older Doug Liman movies, and it turned out to be great. I liked his style of directing in Go!!! and decided to give young Favreau and Vaughn a chance. The story is a familiar one, about a bunch of friends who are trying to make it in Hollywood. Constantly failing, they can somehow smell success and keep trying. All the while trying to hook up with chicks.
Unlike most of the comedies produced during the nineties, Swingers choose an honest approach. It also unobtrusively explores male emotions and friendships. You can watch it and just go with the flaw or analyze the behavior. And if you dated during this period I’m certain you’ll find most of the situations very relatable. You would think that the lack of the main plot would make for disjointed storytelling but it’s pretty tight. The atmosphere is positive and vibrant, especially since the movie is set in Las Vegas.
Mike is having a hard time right now. He’s a struggling comedian trying to make it in the city of angels, still reeling from a recent breakup. Trent, one of his best friends is trying to get him back dating but without much success. Finally, he manages to convince him that a trip to Las Vegas is just the thing he needs.
Swingers is full of dialogues explaining how to pick up girls, how to act in different situations, and a bunch of other guy stuff. Realistic and authentic, it’s really fun and engaging. This casual approach without forced jokes and gags makes the movie perfect for watching again and again. Plus there are so many “money” one-liners. This is how I imagine Bill Burr and his crew rolled back in a day. I think that this movie really captured the spirit of one generation and only now we can fully appreciate it. Plus when you see the hairstyles, clothes and a general vibe it will take you back to that glorious decade immediately. All you would need is some cocaine and cigarettes and you would the summon that fucking spirit.
So, if you’re feeling nostalgic about the “old days of glory” just pop in Swingers in your VHS player and enjoy. And if you’re looking for similar movies I recommend A Night at the Roxbury, After Hours or The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human. Very Bad Things is a bit darker but still set in Las Vegas and really funny. You might even continue with Old School. It’s fucking money!
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, Heather Graham, Blake Lindsley, Kevin James Kelly, Patrick Van Horn, Rio Hackford
Fun Facts: The movie is loosely based on the experiences writer Jon Favreau had when he first moved to LA. He had just broken up with a long term girlfriend and counted on his friends Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston to cheer him up. The characters they play in the film are based on themselves.