A while back, I made a big ol’ list of 101 movies to watch that I haven’t seen yet. I could post that list here, but that would involve admitting how lacking my cinematic knowledge actually is. Seriously, there are some movies on there that everyone has seen. Even when you take into account that I’m pretty young, I still have no excuse for dodging The Matrix or Gone With The Wind. I’ve slowly started to work my way through the list, though. Swingers was on TV last night, and since it was on my list, I decided to give it a try.
In 1996’s Swingers, Jon Favreau (now of Iron Man directorial fame) plays Mike, a heartbroken aspiring comedian who’s recently made the big move to L.A. in hopes of kick-starting his career. He has a hodgepodge of goofs for friends (including a surprisingly attractive young Vince Vaughn as Trent) who he plays ridiculously dated video games (yeah, yeah. They were totally cutting edge at the time) and riffs about Tarantino with. Jon faces a series of cringe-worthy embarrassing moments as he tries to fit in with the L.A. scene and get over his ex-girlfriend of six years.
I wasn’t totally sold at first, but after a while (especially at the halfway point), I really started to get into the humour and rhythm of the movie. I even started to embrace Vaughn’s incessant “baby” and “money” catchphrases. The movie has a really interesting feel to it, and it just seems quirky in the best kind of way. For a couple of losers like Mike and Trent, Favreau and Vaughn do a great job of making them seem human, and even a little likeable. So many of the scenes in the movie are really funny, and they don’t rely on huge gimmicks or physical humour to get laughs. It’s genuinely clever stuff. The very 90’s feel now seems like a throwback, but I’m sure at the time, this was really modern stuff.