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Swingers


Swingers poster

It’s fairly common knowledge that breakups are hard. They take an emotional toll that erodes self-confidence and often kills personal drive. Consequently, reigniting your love life, or even social life, is even harder. Jon Favreau clearly has felt this pain considering the authenticity of Swingers.

Grade:

B

Mike (Favreau) is a budding comedian trying to adapt to life in Los Angeles as a newly-single guy. His buddies, Trent (Vince Vaughn) and Rob (Ron Livingston), are constantly pushing Mike to break free from his emotional funk and start believing in himself again.

Swingers is not your typical comedy. Sure, there are laughs throughout, but really it’s about how relatable the story and characters become. There are hardly any gimmicks for the sake of a laugh. If there is a laugh, it comes organically.

swingers1

We all know a Trent, the fast-talking womanizer who treats commitment more like a disease than a life choice. We all know—or have been—a Mike, a guy who loved his significant other and was maybe a little too dependent on her for comfort and safety.

Our heroes are borderline obnoxious and lame, respectively, but Favreau and Vaughn display such solid chemistry that their onscreen friendship becomes money…so money and they totally know it. You can clearly see the foundation for the actor Vaughn has become nowadays, as he showcases the same quick wit and lovable-but-grating style. Thankfully, in 1996 he hadn’t hit paydirt yet so his performance is more enjoyable with less conceit.

swingers 2

Favreau, who was at an equally early stage of his career, wrote Swingers with personal experiences in mind (either that or he is an excellent observer of the human condition). He clearly knew the struggles that came along with trying to make it in LA and spread them out between Rob, Mike and Trent. With self-deprecating neuroses, Mike is simultaneously affable and hopeless. He is stuck in the past and cannot bring himself to hold onto that initial dream that brought him to LA in the first place.

Swingers is a strong dose of reality among comedies that focus too much on atypical situations. Some entertainment value is sacrificed as a result, but you end up engrossed in seeing people on screen that you could feasibly befriend.

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  1. I love Swingers! To me it’s one of those quintessential LA movies. When it was out in theaters, I saw a late showing at Laemmles after bar hopping on the Sunset Strip. Couldn’t be more LA than that! Last Sunday, I introduced my boyfriend to Silverlake and we walked passed the Dresden Room. He has not seen Swingers and I tried my best to explain the joy of Marty and Elaine!

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