on 13 September 2005
I first saw this film with a group of my mates at Uni and it was almost the perfect audience for this film. There are many so-called 'chick flicks' that combine tales of relationship with humour and "that's me" moments (or so I'm told) - think Bridget Jones - but few of the same for guys.
Well, Swingers fills that void. Instead of being a story about a group of guys getting into slapstick scrapes and unfeasible situations with women, like Old School or Road Trip, it goes deeper and has a more sensitive edge - but with a wicked wit that ever prevents it becoming sentimental.
The comedy is subtle and clever, having some of that uncomfortably realistic and awkward quality that made "The Office" so unwatchably watchable. Favreau and Vaughn's breakthrough performances create rounded characters that are right on the 'money'. Doug Liman (of later Bourne Identity fame) makes superb use of the low budget set up and borrowed locations to bring to life an atmospheric, cool but unglamorous Los Angeles, that is by turns unpretentious and overblown.
The real genius here, though, is Favreau's script, which contains the kind of true-to-life, quickfire, vernacular-filled dialogue that a group of guys can evolve amongst themselves. It will be easily recognisable to any chaps watching and the emotions expressed through it, ranging from anxiety over how best to chat up a girl to wondering why she hasn't called, will also be all too familiar.
Buy it. Oh, and get used to the words 'Money' and 'Baby'!
I expect anyone who's a fan of this film will already own it on DVD, but here nearly ten years after its theatrical release (1996) is the Special Edition. Whether you buy depends on how much you love the film and how badly you want to hear the various commentaries or the making of or the deleted scenes. Worth seeing/hearing though they undoubtedly are, the real reason for owning this is the movie , a series of pacy fast talking comedy vignettes set in the L.A. lounge social scene and revolving around a bunch of young studs all out to have as good a time as possible as young guys are wont to do.
This is the debut feature of Doug Liman ("Go", The Bourne Identity") who clearly wasn't blessed with a large budget but directs in a metricious understated manner and is privileged to have a cracking script from Jon Favreau who also plays the lead role of Mike Peters, a jobless actor who is still hung up on the split from his ex- girlfriend. Peters is by turns annoyed and cajoled by his rapaciously slick best mate Trent who is played superbly by Vince Vaughn, as he attempts to cure his friend of his moribund obsession with his ex. They go to bars, have confrontations with other men, argue and try to pull women. It doesn't sound much but it's very funny and furnishes us with a some unforgettable scenes. There is one involving an answering machine that comes close to genius and Vaughn's attempted seduction of a young women across the seats of a bar diner is almost as good. Best of all though is the scene where Mike finally hit's it lucky, dancing with vertiginous glee to the swinging Big Bad Voodoo Daddy which brilliantly encapsulates the thrill of meeting someone new and just letting go.
This is a terrific hugely enjoyable film, crackling with energy and spiky wit. The sound track is superb, and is actually worth owning in its own right. If you don't own this already then this is the version to go for.It, s a bit of a paradox but no film has made going out away from your T.V seem so enticing. If only bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy played near where I live.
on 23 January 2002
man this film rocks,if your like me and your feeling low about yourself due to being single or recently dumped by your girl then this movie is a real pick-me up.the main man 'mikey'is just that guy,he has low self-esteem and cant get to grips with chatting up women in bars,but his buddys rob ,trent and sue make sure he gets what he needs. a funny,well written and filmed movie,made on such a small budget ive seen it 5 times and im gonna see it again.afterwards youll wanna slick your hair back,find a nice jazz/swing bar and kick it ...
on 11 January 2002
This movie is brilliant, very funny but with a subtle message too. Basically it's about a bunch of lads on the pull, looking for the "beautiful babies" of LA. There aren't many films that make you feel good after you watch them, but Swingers is one of them. Thoroughly enjoyable, excellent dialogue. This film does not take itself too seriously either unlike Tarantino's films. Lots of eye candy on show too, particularly the girl that Mike meets in the bar after the house party!
on 24 January 2001
Swingers has got to be my all-time favourite film, and there is no question that everybody should own it on some format or another. That said, this DVD is not what I had hoped for. The only extras are subtitles in English and a couple of trailers. No commentary, no documentary. Even the scene selection is a bit dodgy, as the movie is divided into just ten parts, which makes it hard to pick out the classic moments. If you're a Swingers fan, buy it, but don't expect too much.
on 27 January 2002
The most realistic, funny, charming, painful, and feel-good dialogue ever to come out of America. Trent Walker, superbly played by Vince Vaughan, is a modern day gigolo who helps best-mate Mikey, also superby played by creater Jon favreau, overcome the emotional turmoil and self-confidence problems after the break up of his long-term relationship - with hilarious consequences. Personally, this is my favourite movie, and even more-so because it references all my other favourite movies.
Please take a chance on this film. You wont be dissapointed.
I saw this film on the TV some years ago and enjoyed it very much, enticed by the director being Doug Liman rather the 2 lead actors, Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, who I'd never heard of before and had, but hated in anything I had seen him appear in, respectively.
This quite new Blu-ray release produces a very acceptable and vibrant picture along with a quite buoyant 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which is best-utilised for the variety of background music, since little else is broadcast apart from dialogue.
Now some 20 years old, the film is to quite a degree a 'vehicle' for the talents of Favreau, who not only acts in it but wrote the screenplay and was a producer. Whilst he may now be better associated as a director for films such as the excellent 'Iron Man' and then on, back in 1996 he was only an emerging-personality in Hollywood and this film was where it all started for him really.
Unsurprisingly the story revolves around the Favreau character, who has recently experienced a failed relationship and is as a result utterly bereft and crest-fallen. Soon after, a friend of his (the Vince Vaughn character) feels the need to try and shake his mate out of his morose state with, firstly, an impromptu trip to Las Vegas (heard that one before ? !) for some drinking, gambling and women-chasing...."Vegas Baby !!!"
So, whilst this might all seem a bit basic and bland as the plot for a film it is not really why you (I) watch - it is because of the snappy-dialogue, the excellent way it is delivered and the enjoyable characterisations.
That is despite the fact that whilst everyone appears to be having a good time (aside from the Favreau character who is essentially in a permanent state of upset and grumpiness) I never get the impression that anyone is actually acting in the true sense of that term ! They seem to be 'playing' themselves, and you could be excused for thinking that this is a fly-on-the-wall documentary of young people swanning around in their hometown of Los Angeles !!
A pre-cursor for other male-biased movies such as 'The Hangover' this might be, but that is where the similarity ends; there is no slapstick here and often the 'action' and dialogue is of a quite serious nature despite a foundation in comedy.....
I've attached a photo of the back of the disc box.
A lot is due to Favreau of course (oh alright, AND Vaughn as well), but with a limited budget and simplistic settings it is the influence of Liman that ensures that it is such a joy to watch. As so much of what occurs is quite low-key and as there is such an emphasis on the dialogue (and it's delivery) this means I am quite able to re-watch this classic male-comedy/drama on a regular basis and never get bored; now with this Blu-ray everything is sorted as it also looks and sounds as good as you could hope.
on 1 April 2008
I enjoy this quirky movie quite a bit, and get more out of it with each subsequent viewing. Okay, so it's got Vince Vaughn playing yet another semi-obnoxious lothario. It's got a displaced New Yorker who is -- SURPRISE! -- neurotic and whiny, something we've only ever seen in almost every single Woody Allen film (amongst others). It's got the Token Cool African-American Friend Who Doesn't Have That Many Lines. Yet at the same time, this was actually Vince's FIRST semi-obnoxious lothario role (which no doubt set him up for being cast in further such roles), and his character does redeem himself by being sincerely concerned about his friends, going above and beyond the call of duty to help them. The Neurotic Displaced New Yorker actually grows as a person with the help of his friends, and becomes balanced and likeable. And the Token Cool African-American Friend STAYS cool throughout the film without any over-the-top comedic cracking of the veneer during stressful moments.
The music is excellent, especially if you're into Swing, Big Band, and Jazz. I think it was the music (and the attendant anachronistic zoot suits) that caught my fancy on the first time through, and the plot and characters kinda grew on me in subsequent viewings. The excessive use of pseudo-hipster slang either enchants you or grates on your nerves; it's not a take-it-or-leave-it part of the film. Personally, if I hear anyone using "money" as an adjective ever again, my first response will be physical violence. And that's the ONLY reason I haven't given this film full marks. But it IS a fairly big reason for me.
Still, this is one of those films where the popularity and fan base started out slow and small but grew to cult status with exponential speed. Like most cult films, it's realistic(ish) and a Thought-Provoking and Irreverent Commentary on Aspects of Modern Society, but it's nowhere near as "gritty" as most cult films. In other words, it's in colour, it doesn't have a depressing ending, and there are no supremely wise taxi drivers dispensing zen-like wisdom. Also, not a lot really happens in the film, but it plays so much like the better kind of fly-on-the-wall Reality TV show that it's easy to get sucked into the (admittedly thin and rambling but engaging) plot. It's got loads of homages to other popular films, TV shows, and whatnot. It's very well-written, very well-acted by all involved, it looks really good, and (apart from hearing "money" and/or "baby" every 20 seconds) it sounds really, REALLY good. "Swingers" is one of those small, independent films which far outclasses most of the big-budget blockbusters, and launched a LOT of promising and successful careers. The behind-the-scenes documentaries are good for watching through ONCE, to get the stories behind the making of the film, but are so full of self-congratulatory back-slapping and gag-reflex-inducing mutual appreciation that you probably won't want to watch them ever again. The "Swing Blade" short film included in the bonus features, however, I could watch again and again and again until my eyeballs shrivel; it's hilarious!
However much fans of this movie rave about it (and I count myself as one of those), "Swingers" admittedly isn't going to be to everyone's taste. I would recommend renting it first to see if it's your kind of film, and if it is, THEN buy it. It's an exceptionally good kick-back-and-relax film to watch while downing a few cocktails, either alone or with your friends.
on 6 July 2007
Ignore any negative comments you might read about Swingers, this is an absolute classic. It's brilliantly scripted, acted so naturally and most guys can relate to it. Even though it is a lad's movie, women can enjoy it at another level. Jon Favreau (Mikey) and Vince Vaughn (Trent) clearly feel good working together and you can tell they are mates off-screen, as this shows in the two main character's relationship. I would say, don't buy this version, buy the Special Edition version which has got loads of extras.
on 21 May 2013
I discovered this movies many years ago, when it was released on VHS in the Sates. It arrived to Italy years later, and it was already a classic to me. Over the years, Doug Liman lost his touch, but here you can see a young filmaker and a couple of future Hollywood stars as fresh as they will hardly be since then. Swingers is not just the story of some young fellows who want to make it in move business, it's the story of those 3 people who made a low budget movie and made it because of it. It's free cinema, not just independent, but free as you can breathe freedom and lazyiness and easy living in L.A. when you are young and all you want to do is hanging around, living day by day and even more night by night. It's miraculously makes you live and feel that atmosphere and that approach to life. In a funny, easy going way