As you can see on the cover, back in the day someone said Swingers
was “Tarantino meets Seinfeld”. The nifty tagline “cocktails first.
questions later.” rings true. A group of up-and-coming 20-something
actor buddies have made the leap from New York to LA and attempt to live
the dream, without telling their parents of their difficulties and
hitting walls. It’s very much a don’t ask-don’t tell approach when it
comes to the prickly questions of success.
Jon Favreau co-produced, wrote and co-starred as Mike, who is a
struggling actor struggling to get over the girlfriend who dumped him
six months ago. He has joined his pals Rob (Ron Livingston) and Trent
(Vince Vaughn). Trent end ups persuading Mike that the only cure for his
romantic malaise is a trip to glitzy, glammy Las Vegas. With three
hundred cash in pocket, their “big” night out is curiously entertaining.
They meet a waitress and her friend and stumble back to her trailer. For
me, these tight, realistic and intimate scenes are the best in the film
and struck an encouraging note. The dialogue is earnest and engaging and
you want more... you wish you were in that cosy, stuffy hormone-infused
Sadly, they go home and the rest of the film is spent in late-night jazz
lounges and uber-cool clubs with no signs, which deliberately hark back
to the Rat Pack era. The guys even speak in a purposely old-fashioned
way, using words like “baby” and other vocabulary fossils. In my eyes,
the promise of the Vegas scenes is not lived up to. That’s not to say I
didn’t enjoy Swingers, and its comradely ‘bros before hoes’ skew
on life. I just wish the sharp insight on life and love had been
You watch a film like this and wonder, where did it all go wrong for
Vaughn and Favreau, who appeared in the risibly poor Couples Retreat.
All the guys on screen are so crisp and quick, stamping their presence
whenever we see them.
The film transfer is clean with respect to sound and footage but there
is no bonus material. It’s a pretty good soundtrack, if you like that
sort of music.
And though the filmmakers self-consciously decorate the sets with
Tarantino film posters, I am less keen to link Swingers to that
director’s output or even Seinfeld. All in all, this is a curious
step back into the mid 1990s, when single guys hung out to talk about
all sorts of things. Also check out the vintage gaming gear on display!
NHL never looked to
pixelated, without possibly the exception of an Atari.