"Swingers" (1996) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #62 Gem Mint 10.0

“Swingers“ (1996)

Director: Doug Liman

Writer: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Ron Livingston, Patrick Van Horn

Rated: R for language throughout

Runtime: 1h 36min

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Country: USA

Language: English

A wannabe actor has a hard time moving on from a break-up, but he is lucky to have supportive friends.

You might like this if you like: comedies, dramas, dramedies, romance, rom-coms, Jon Favreau('s work), Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Ron Livingston, Patrick Van Horn, Doug Liman('s work), Judd Apatow's Films/Crew (like Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill), Martin Scorsese's Films, Quentin Tarantino's Films

Jon Favreau (left) & Vince Vaughn (right) in "Swingers" (1996)

I first heard about this movie from my dear friend, Alexa Coughlin, who mentioned over the years how much she loved this one. Not only for how great this movie was, but also for how big of a fan of Jon Favreau I was from "Elf" (2003), "Chef" (2014) "Iron Man" franchise (2008-2013 starring & acting), and acting in NBC's "Friends" where I first saw him, I was surprised it took me so long to finally watch it.

I didn’t know a single thing about the story or the film other than Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn were in it and it was sorta the movie that made them stars. I was happily surprised to find how buddy / rom com it was! I may have thought it was going to be about swinger couples haha. Instead, Favreau turned out to be one of the most relatable characters I’ve seen on film. It was painfully hilarious at times and I commend it for giving me what I consider the cringiest scene of all time but all adding to why I loved it so much. Without spoiling it I’ll just leave one word; voicemail.

"Swingers" (1996)

I’ve definitely been Mr. “Voicemail” once or twice in my lifetime, but I guess in our day and age you’d call me Mr. “Text”. Or Mr. “MySpace”. Favreau played it perfectly and I was sent right back into my teenage/single years. I was pleased to see he wrote the film and connected with me even more after seeing his performance. You could tell there was a bigger connection than most leads have with a film.

I was never a huge Vince Vaughn fan but seeing as this one was one of his earliest films it seems like the first perfect role for him before he kind of got typecast. Which isn’t bad, I love Seth Rogen but I’m fully aware, and so is he, that he essentially plays the same role every movie. He may have truly won me over with “Swingers” (1996) only making me more upset I hadn’t seen this sooner!

Ron Livingston (left), Vince Vaughn (middle) & Patrick Van Horn (right) in "Swingers" (1996)

I also realize now that when I first started it there’s the opening scene with Favreau checking his voicemail’s at home and he starts to have a funny back-and-forth with his answering machine making me think that this was going to be a strange Sci-Fi dramedy like “Her” (2013) but soon realized it was only a momentary imagination amongst his opening loneliness.

Jon Favreau (left) & Vince Vaughn (right) in "Swingers" (1996)

It’s such a great film! I feel like it really could’ve helped me overcome a lot of my fears I had, not even that long ago, about myself and how others saw me. I see a lot of movies that attempt that theme but none nail on the head as well as “Swingers”. One of my new favorite films!

Thanks Alexa Coughlin for the recommendation!

Check out her ratboi scrunchies!


Written by Sam Gall on 09/27/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"Directed in flair by Doug Liman, with winning performances from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, this comedy is the most successful since Diner of what could be described as a cycle of "walking and talking" and "hanging out" pictures." - Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.com

"Four guys hang out, kid one another, get into scuffles and flash their gonadal searchlight for available women. Yikes, haven't there been enough variations on the multiple-buddy movie? Actually, no." - Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

"Director-cinematographer Doug Liman gets points for breathing a bit of life into an already tired indie sub genre." - TV Guide

"'Swingers' doesn't really add up to much -- except a good time. But it's smart, funny and cute. With all that going for you, who needs to be money?" - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

Official Trailer:

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