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Swingers (1996, Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn)

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Jon Favreau’s script casts him as a would-be stand-up comic actor from New York who’s moved to Los Angeles for his big break but instead, hangs out with a similar bunch of guys, all of whom are also just about to make it big (when one is offered a job as Goofy in Disneyland, his friend observes, ‘Hey, at least it’s Disney’).

As well as hanging out and talking about work, the gang also spend most of their time thinking about, talking about and chasing girls, unfortunately to little avail. Favreau is particularly handicapped because he can’t talk for two minutes without starting on about the girl he left behind and still loves. Eventually, Vince Vaughn drags him off to Vegas where they can’t fail to score but when they do, Mike can’t keep off the subject but eventually, he does meet someone special (Helen Graham) with whom the chemistry is right and romance enters his life again.

First time director Doug Liman directs with a sure but light touch, letting the seemingly unconnected episodes at parties, bars and clubs speak for themselves with humour and detail that build into a bigger picture of the characters and the plot. Favreau’s script comes fresh from the LA coffee bars and bars, where the guys’ shyness, bluster, supposed experience and distinct lack of it all combine naturally and the whole is a sweet, funny confident but above all, very human movie. And it’s worth watching for the homage to Scorsese’s camerawork (the guys walk into a club through the kitchen) and Tarantino with the Reservoir Dogs ‘strut’.

production details
USA | 94 minutes | 1996

Director: Doug Liman
Script: Jon Favreau,

cast
Jon Favreau as Mike Peters
Vince Vaughn as Trent Walker
Ron Livingston as Rob
Patrick Van Horn as Sue
Alex Désert as Charles
Heather Graham as Lorraine
Deena Martin as Christy
Katherine Kendall as Lisa
Brooke Langton as Nikki
Blake Lindsley as Girl with Cigar
Kevin James Kelly as Vegas Dealer
Stephanie Ittleson as Vegas Waitress
Vernon Vaughn as $100 Gambler
Joan Favreau as $5 Winner
Rio Hackford as Skully
Jan Dykstra as Girl at Party
Maddie Corman as Peek-a-boo Girl
Marty & Elayne as Dresden Lounge Act
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as Derby Band
Sheri Rosenblum as $100 Gambler
Stasea Rosenblum as $100 Gambler
Pamela Shaw as $5 Gambler
Tom Alley as Pit Boss
Reverend Phil Dixon as Lounge Lizard
Ashley M. Rogers as Bartender
Jay Diola as Skully’s Crew / Derby Dancer
Nicholas Gagliarducci as Skully’s Crew
David Gould as Skully’s Crew
Bill Phillips as Skully’s Crew
Mansur Hamud as Pink Dot Guy
Ahmed Ahmed as Party Mystery Guy
Eufemia Plimpton as Derby Lady
Melinda Starr as Derby Lady
Samantha Lemole as Dresden Lady
Jessica Buchman as Dresden Lady
Caroline O’Meara as Diner Waitress
Gary Auerbach as Derby Doorman
Brad Halvorson as Derby Doorman
Christopher R. Joyce as Diner Patron
Edward Rissien as Diner Patron
Jenna Rissien as Diner Patron
Mark Smith as Diner Patron
John Abrham as Derby Dancer
Rachel Gallaghan as Derby Dancer
Lisa Guerriero as Derby Dancer
Thomas Hall as Derby Dancer
Damiana Kamishin as Derby Dancer
Curtis Lindersmith as Derby Dancer
Jennifer Lucero as Derby Dancer
Pinki Marsolek as Derby Dancer
Rhonda Martin as Derby Dancer
Martina Migenes as Derby Dancer
Paul Mojica as Derby Dancer
Sam Mollo as Derby Dancer
Jacob Morris as Derby Dancer
Michael Scott as Derby Dancer
Bernard Serrano as Derby Dancer
Rosalind Smith as Derby Dancer
Molly Stern as Derby Dancer
Johnny Walker as Derby Dancer
Lisa Wolstein as Derby Dancer

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