39. Swingers

Yep, I’ve never seen Swingers until now.  Sue me.

Jon Favreau stars (as well as produces and co-writes) in Swingers as Mike, a struggling comedian in Los Angeles who is completely hung up on his ex-girlfriend who has recently broken up with him.  His friends Trent (Vince Vaughn) and Rob (Ron Livingston) realize Mike’s borderline depression and do their best to show him a good time and cheer him up.  As the gang tries to act as tough as possible while getting as many numbers as they can, Mike must find a way to dig out of his rut and get over his long time love.

Whether it’s a near catastrophic visit to Vegas when Mike blows $300 instantly due to his pride in avoiding the small stakes tables, or when Mike calls a girl he met at the bar *6 times* immediately after meeting her (“the rule is 2 days, baby”), Swingers is full of laughs and memorable quotes.  Easily one of my favorite roles of Vaughn (not sure that’s saying much aside from Wedding Crashers) and a job well done on Favreau’s part for juggling so many responsibilities within the film.

Although the characters are completely vain and shallow, they seem harmless and ultimately sympathetic due to their constant shortcomings in trying to act cool and pick up girls.  I thought Swingers was a spot on portrait of mid 20’s single confusion, full of uncertainty but with a wide open road ahead…not to mention putting up with the social pitfalls of Hollywood.  Rarely is this period in life articulated in film with such humor and sincerity.  I also was amused by the numerous nods to Reservoir Dogs with posters, discussion of Tarantino and the slow panning table shots during a friendly debate.

Definitely calling for repeated viewings, Swingers is tons o’ fun.  4 stars out of 5.

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Categories: 100 Films

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