SWINGERS

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene.

 

WHAT WE THOUGHT

Mike is a down on his luck actor and comedian who is heartbroken over his lack of contact with his girlfriend of six years. His best friend, Trent, tries desperately to help him out by taking him out on the town and getting him back in the game. The film follows Mike, Trent, and their other screwball friends as they invade the neo-lounge scene looking for chicks, booze, and a good time. It surely sounds like a dull concept that can’t go anywhere, but with the fast driving dialogue and hip acting the film becomes a masterpiece of suave and a pitch perfect portrayal the Los Angeles night life.

Jon Favreau crafted a script so real that it could have been completely ad-libbed. This film is the essence of life in Los Angeles with just dialogue. Much of the story takes place in the principals’ apartments; these one-room homes could be anywhere, it is the words that tell the story, not the visuals. Even when the action goes to some of the hip clubs around town and a casino in Vegas, it was all shot by the director, Doug Liman, without emptying out the venues. These guys would come in and rope off half the bar saying that anyone on that side might be in a film. Swingers is guerilla film-work at its best, shooting when they can and where they can. All the sounds are unscripted, the lighting true, and the people local. Everything is so tangential, helping the movie succeed. We are watching a group of friends go about their lives on the prowl for alcohol, sex, fun, and love. This is probably the closest you can get to documentary without it being so.

You have to love the way Favreau and Liman have allowed themselves to poke fun at their own on-going work too. Having a discussion about film costs and it being crazy to shoot a scene in a casino due to price, literally five minutes after they just shot in a casino is priceless. These guys love film and they bring that feeling to the work. It also doesn’t hurt having a spectacular supporting cast of faces that had yet to make it big in the industry. Classic “that guy” Alex Desert, Ron Livingston before Office Space, and Heather Graham before Boogie Nights all help add to the flavor.

The best part of this film is the self transformation of Mike from the pitiful whiner holed up in his apartment for days after Sue tells him what a loser he is, to the Bear spotting the Bunny (literally) from the other side of the bar. Though Mike is constantly hearing and taking advise from his posse…ultimately, it is himself who shows that through his own experiences (ball room dance lessons with the ex) and his own strengths of honesty, charm and charisma that he proves he is indeed, money, and lands him the beautiful baby Lorraine. “It is so on” as the hilarious Trent (scene stealer Vince Vaughn) first spots the pensive conversation between Mike and Lorraine. (Heather Graham) The looks on Trent’s and Sue’s faces are priceless as they spy Mike and his beautiful baby working the dance floor to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s “Go Daddy O”. I don’t think I have ever seen Ms Graham look better that she does here.

The Blu-Ray comes with the original featurettes, trailers, commentaries and short film from the Collector’s Edition DVD. The brand-new transfer is a glorious 1080p transfer that makes the film’s indie roots seem so far away. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track seems like it would’ve overpowered the movie, but it provides a nice audio soundstage to pick up dialogue that I missed in other formats. Basically, if you’ve ever been a fan of the film…you need to buy it. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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