Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with Doug Liman and
editor Stephen Mirrone. Commentary with Jon Favreau and Vince
Vaughn. 4 featurettes. Outtakes. Deleted scenes.
DOUG Liman's swinging look at the LA singles scene of the early
90s has become something of a cult classic, based on the strong
word of mouth it generated during its cinema release.
The film deserves its status as a modern gem because of the way
it manages to put a totally different spin on the classic tale
of failed relationships in the modern era, making it bitingly
funny and achingly poignant in equal measure.
The film essentially focuses on two men - the insecure Mike (Jon
Favreau, who also wrote the script) and his best friend, the smooth-talking
ladies man, Trent (Vince Vaughn).
Mike is a struggling actor still attempting to piece his life
back together following a traumatic break-up with his New York
girlfriend, yet he is frequently dragged out into the nightlife
of Hollywood and Vegas by Mike, who is determined to ease his
It's a simple premise, yet it works wonders because of the world
that Liman and Favreau have created for their characters.
Trent seems to exist on his own planet at times, devising his
own rhetoric to refer to people as 'so money' or 'babies/sweet
He is probably the most insecure
of the lot, but hides it well, frequently displaying acts of male
bravado that all too often have viewers laughing at his expense.
Yet his double-act with the understated Favreau is perfectly
played and seldom feels heavy-handed (rather, as natural as any
relationship you've ever had while cruising the singles scene
of your own local neighbourhood).
The predicaments Liman places them in are often inspired, whether
it be in the casinos of Vegas, attempting to woo the cocktail
waitresses, or at parties and nightspots in LA, where Mike continually
gets himself into trouble through just being awkward.
One particularly cringe-inducing episode finds Mike attempting
to call a girl he has just met and leaving repeated messages on
her answering machine, each time sounding more and more desperate.
You will be urging him to hang up and give up, until the object
of his affection does it for him.
The scene has rightly been hailed as a classic in its own right.
But there is so much else to enjoy in the film, not least the
camaraderie that exists between all of the male players, as well
as the sweet resolution, where Mike eventually finds happiness
and makes the right choices.
Its the effortless blend of humour and drama that makes Swingers
so shamelessly enjoyable.
Needless to say, the two-disc collectors' edition comes packed
with extras, including interviews, commentaries, deleted scenes
It's a nice, easygoing accompaniment to a film that's so on the
money that you won't mind forking out your own to possess it.