Swingers review by The Grim Ringler


There are always those films that pop up in our lives and that shape us, whether it be our thoughts, our dreams, the way we see things or the way we say things, these are the movies that, at least at that moment, define who we are. Swingers is one of those movies for me. I was in my early twenties and my friends and I were big dorks that desperately wanted to be cool, which, of course, we were not. And still arent. But then came Swingers, a movie dripping coolness from its every pore and god how we wanted to be those guys. Wanted to be bad motorscooters but just never were. Darn it!

Mikey is an out of work actor, like a lot of people in Hollywood, and to make matters worse he is nursing a broken heart. To his joy and chagrin though, Mikes friends wont let him wallow in his self-pity and work diligently to help him rebuild his confidence and to get back his claws. Nothing seems to work though and Mikey falls deeper into despair, feeling hes lost the one person that he could be compatible with, and feeling like hes been out of the game too long to get his groove back. Nothing is going his way and all he wants is to win back this woman hes lost. But when hope has been all but forsaken Mike takes one last chance at meeting someone, working up the courage to first look at her then to move to sit next to her at the bar, and suddenly its as if there is no one in the world but them. And before he can talk himself out of it, this mystery girl has him on the dance floor and, in a scene both awkward and beautiful, has them swing dancing in a scene that tops most Hollywood sex scenes for intimacy and sexual tension. But can Mike walk away from his ex for good, or is he doomed to damn every relationship that isnt with her?

Essentially a buddy comedy set in the Hollywood lounge scene; this is one of those movies that just makes you feel good after watching it. Maybe its the portrayal of friendship, maybe its the doe-eyed romanticism, or maybe its just that it sure would be neato to be as casually cool as these characters are, but whatever it is, its magic still works. Because were it not for the behind the scenes friendship a lot of the guys in Swingers had, the movie wouldnt ring so true or feel so honest. Itd be a sort of Porkys where its these horny guys trying to get their friend laid. And Trent, the sort polar opposite to Mike, would be just another soulless letch that wants little else than to sleep with a woman and move on. Instead what we see are five friends struggling in that place between boyhood and manhood and struggling to be themselves. Sure, they are very cool, but if they were really half as cool as they think they are they wouldnt need to go from bar to bar to party to party to find the excitement cause theyd make their own. And as odd as it seems to say, theres sweetness to the film because the characters really do care about each other as is seen when Sue named after the song A Boy Named Sue apologizes to Mike for pulling a gun when the lot of them are confronted by some hoodrats. Its awkward for Sue to apologize to Mike and THATS what makes it work. Yes, its a movie about guys partying and going to bars and hep-cat places, sure, but more than that its a wonderfully done film about five friends that manage to stick together and support one another despite how different they all seem.

Group hug. The disc has some pretty neat special features, as well as a nice, clean print of the film. The coolest extra is an animated commentary track, which basically means that John Favreau and Vince Vaughn have a tele-strater at their disposal and use it quite liberally. Other than that you get a directors commentary, a cool documentary on the making of and phenomenon of the film as well as some deleted scenes. Overall a pretty nice disc and much better than the first release that was more expensive and completely bare bones.

Its sometimes hard to imagine it but this is a bit of an indie film classic, and I am happy as a cucumber that it is. Its smart, got amazing dialogue, and is a pretty darn good comedy. And its nice to see something that meant so much to me when I was younger stand up over the passing of a few years. Huzzah!


8 out of 10 Jackasses

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