Starring: Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Jon Favreau, Ron Livingston
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed By: Doug Liman
Written By: Jon Favreau
Swingers is the story of four wannabe actors moving to New York and trying to make it big. The main thread follows that of Mike (Favreau) who had to break off a six year relationship in New York in order to move west and pursue his dream. Six months later and he is still distraught over the break up and his friend Trent decides to teach him how to get back in the game and become 'money' (irresistible to women) as he likes to put it. In doing this they travel to Las Vegas, back street Hollywood bars and parties up mountains where Mike manages to meet women and ultimately destroy any chance of a relationship in less than an hour. The film is very relatable for most men out there who lack the confidence when talking to women compared to Trent (Vaughn's) abundance of it.
The film is written by Favreau himself and I have to say the script is fantastic. The dialogue really works for the film, and the performances and delivery of the lines by the actors really help the script look great. The story is paper thin and not much to it, but the dialogue within it is brilliant and very funny. One of the scenes involving Mike ringing a girl he met in the bar that night and leaving several messages as the machine keeps cutting him off is brilliant and had me laughing in hysterics. Many of the lines done this and it was a breath of fresh air for some of the comedies released now days. Writer's need to look back at this comedy to see how it should really be done.
The performances in the film are good and are perfect for the tone of this movie. The dialogue must have been hard to learn as there are many occasions when people ramble on in a rant, which is all filmed in one shot. These moments fit the film really well, especially with many tracking shots that cut off peoples head and it is as if you are actually walking behind the actors. The camera work and cinematography isn't great but it works with the film so you can get over it. This is what is great about this film is that it looks low budget and very studenty but that is what makes it such a treat. I wasn't expecting much and found myself pleasantly surprised.
When you watch this film, and I say when because you so should, you will be surprised to see a really young Vince Vaughn, and if you know him Jon Favreau, with them both looking the part as normal everyday guys. I think this is one of Vaughn's first films, before he really hit stardom, and it is plain to see why he was pulled into bigger roles as he is very funny here. Favreau, by all accounts, wrote this script based on his own experience of moving to Hollywood in search of stardom, and his friends who helped him through this time. Those friends were in fact Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingstone who portray themselves with different names in this film. This was how they all were and it is easy to believe that this could be the case, with the performances, camera work, script, and cinematography really keeping the film grounded.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It isn't the best comedy I have seen but it is one of the better ones. I think it is due to it being so relatable and different to over blown comedies out there. The film has a lot of heart and you route for the characters throughout. We are even treated to a late cameo from Heather Graham, who despite her being a little more famous than the other actors at the time, doesn't seem out of place at all, and if anything adds something special to it. There is also a fantastic final scene which had me in stitches and wrapped up the change in characters completely. I advise you to go rent this film it is very, very good.
3.5 / 5
Next film to review: THE QUIET AMERICAN