60/60 Extra: Swingers.

A couple years ago I saw another Favreau/Vaughn film called Made, and I thought it was hilarious. I was continually told that they're even better in Swingers. But do I agree with that? The film follows Mike (Jon Favreau), who has recently broken up with his girlfriend of 6 years and moved across the country to L.A. There, with the help of friends Trent (Vince Vaughn), Rob (Ron Livingston), and Sue (Patrick Van Horn), he tries to get over her and move on with his life.

To be honest, it wasn't until about the halfway point that I "got" the movie. It was around the time of the Scorsese/Tarantino conversation (and then subsequent slow-mo walk). There is some fantastic meta stuff in this movie. But besides getting into the film based on the meta stuff, it took me a while to realize the whole point to the movie.

At first I was wondering what the point was. Frankly, I was kind of bored after a while with the film seemingly going nowhere. It was party after party, random conversation after random conversation. But when I picked up on the notion that the film was basically a study of love in its different forms, it made more sense. Mike had the painful loss of love and the awkward stance of moving on. Trent is a sad, pathetic individual who puts on a self-entitled smooth exterior. And Rob is in between, sympathizing with both sides. And all three are rather pathetic as failed actors/entertainers just trying to make it in the business they love. The film itself is like a love letter to film, as shown through the more meta moments.

The acting was good all around. Favreau was good at being awkward, depressed, and desperate. The "phone call" scene started funny... but then got painful and sad and you couldn't help but cringe and feel bad for the guy (while at the same time wanting to shake him). Livingston was good at being the friend, though there wasn't much beyond that with him. And then, of course, Vaughn did what he does best--acts annoying and never shuts up.

Due to the fact that I didn't really start liking it until about halfway through, I might eventually need to give it another watch at some point. But I can tell you that my enjoyment of it did slowly rise as the film went on. I wasn't in love with it at the end, but by the time it was over... I did feel that it was pretty money, baby.

I Am McLovin!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of Swingers, but this is one of those movies that I wouldn't hassle newcomers to for not loving. Such a large component of its success was the story of its making as well as it hitting the zeitgeist of the swing revival that was going on at the time. To watch it 15 years later is to know that, while enjoyable, it's not a *great* film, and you've probably heard so many of the quotes from this so much that they're no longer funny anymore, if they ever were all that hilarious.

    Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it. To this day I quote it often - not so much the "money" business (though the "you're a big fucking bear" speech is timeless), but more of the "this place is dead anyways."


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