Why it’s famous:
This 90s cult classic was the launching point, both critically and commercially, for acclaimed actors and filmmakers Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. Swingers follows the lives and aspirations of amateur actors Mike (Favreau), Trent (Vaughn) and their close-knit group of friends as they prowl through L.A.’s nightlife and sketchy bar scene.
Written by Favreau, Swingers sports several cameos including Heather Graham and Ron Livingston. The film also features a stellar soundtrack from musical talents such as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.. Swingers was also voted as one of the best films set in L.A. in the last 25 years by the Los Angeles Times.
Trent: “Baby, that was money! Tell me that wasn’t money.”
Mike: “That was so demeaning.”
Trent: “She smiled, baby.”
Mike: “I can’t believe what an asshole you are.”
Trent: “Did she, or did she not smile.”
Mike: “She was smiling at what an asshole you are.”
Trent: “She was smiling at how money I am, baby.”
Why you haven’t seen it:
Even though it was a financial success, Swingers was easy to miss due to its low budget and limited theatrical release. Not as slapstick as most comedies of its time, Swingers only became popular with groups that appreciated its dry humour. Only after becoming available on movie streaming outlets and on demand services did this film became more recognized and appreciated.
Why it might be tough to get through:
Swingers provides plenty of laughs and easy-going movie watching but tends to slow down at some points. At times, it could leave its watchers annoyed or confused with the repetitive and shallow dialogue about social etiquette and interactions with the opposite sex.
Why you should see it anyway:
Featuring some of Hollywood’s favourite actors before they were famous, Swingers reminds us why we enjoy the likes of Vaughn and Favreau. Swingers stands out amongst comedies as being unique and innovative in its subject matter and setting. It led the way for other comedies, like Seinfeld, being one of the first to be essentially about nothing in particular, but still being able to draw in audiences.
Several bar scenes were shot in actual bars during business hours. A sign was posted near where they were shooting warning customers that if they came any closer, they would be unpaid extras in the film.
Trent, Mikey, Sue, Rob, and Charles represent the five members of the original Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis Jr.
The word “Fuck” is used 95 times, “Bitch” 31 times and “Asshole” 13 times.