Reviewed July 22nd, 2001 by David Nusair
Swingers is one of the funniest movies to come out of the 1990's, alongside such classics as Austin Powers and Happy Gilmore.
Written by Jon Favreau, the movie casts him as Mikey, a semi-successful comic who's recently moved out to L.A. hoping to get over his last girlfriend. He's surrounded by his friends, most notably Trent (Vince Vaughn, in a career making performance). Together, they wander La La Land looking for girls, fun and just a good time (though not necessarily in that order).
Swingers doesn't have much of a plot - mostly, Mikey and his friends just hang out - but what it does have going for it is a terrifically funny script and great performances. As Mikey, Favreau is sort of the shy, quiet member of the group. His polar opposite is Vaughn's Trent, the coolest guy to hit the screens in ages. Trent has no problems approaching the opposite sex or doing whatever it is he feels like doing - he's the guy we all wish we were. And as played by Vaughn, Trent is as appealing as he is handsome.
Swingers was also the directorial debut of Doug Liman, who would go on to direct Go and the upcoming Matt Damon thriller, The Bourne Identity. This is the flick that was famously made for less than $50 thousand but it never shows. Liman undoubtedly had to employ guerrilla filmmaking techniques on various occasions, but this is not a movie that looks cheap or haphazardly produced.
Swingers excels on every level it attempts, and it puts to shame other so-called comedies made for 100 times its budget.
Audio: Swingers is presented in 2.0 Dolby surround and, while this would normally be offensive, it works here. This is obviously a movie without any explosions or aggressive sound effects - dialogue is the primary thing. And it comes across clear and crisp. While it never achieves that expansive sound that DD might have provided, this is nevertheless an adequate mix.
Video: And speaking of adequate, that's just what you get with the video transfer. Presented non-anamophically at 1.85:1, Swingers looks fairly good. The transfer itself is near flawless, but it's the print that needed work. There are a number of blemishes and scratches that likely could have easily been taken out. But given that this was such a low-budget flick, the movie looks about as good as you could hope for (notwithstanding the non-anamorphic transfer).
Extras: A trailer. That's it. At the very least, a commentary would have been appreciated. Liman's track on Go was fantastic, and it really would have been interesting learning how he managed to film on such a low budget and use so many locations. Alas...
Conclusion: There are few comedies that hold up on repeat viewings and consistently elicit laughs. Swingers is one of them.
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