“Swingers” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 15
“You don’t look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don’t have.”
EXTERIOR: LOS ANGELES. – Everyone’s an asshole.
How Jon Favreau or Vince Vaughn ever “made it” after Swingers is beyond me.
So I guess the appeal of Swingers is if you can relate to a twenty-something, actor wanna-be in L.A. I can’t say I ever related to Favreau (whose personality seems to ensure his failure), or Vaughn (whose personality strangely succeeds despite itself within the plot). It’s not particularly funny, it doesn’t have a satisfying resolution, and it seems to drag on despite being a relatively short 96 minutes. I never want to hear “you’re money” or “beautiful babies” again as long as I live.
It also has really odd editorial choices (what’s with the awkward slo-mo?), a barely-there story (boy can’t get over girl, the end), and it seems to be just riffing or shamelessly stealing from other movies they like – even to the point of the characters themselves admitting it. I did enjoy the mostly jazz and swing soundtrack, but it just reminded me how shortlived the swing revival was in the late 90s.
It’s hard to imagine director Doug Liman later helmed The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow. Those films work splendidly. You’d think action was the director’s calling, but that doesn’t explain the trainwreck of Jumper. It’s equally hard to imagine Jon Favreau could go on to make Iron Man.
I came away feeling like I watched some frat guys who decided to make a movie. It wasn’t a very good one.
Swingers was at the time of this review at #421 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #754 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Swingers vs. The Man in the Iron Mask
Stellar cast. Compelling story. The Man in the Iron Mask takes the matchup.
Swingers vs. Chicago
Chicago won Best Picture – deservedly. It’ll win this matchup as well. Probably needs to move up the chart from under the halfway point.
Swingers vs. Stuart Little 2
Ok. Swingers isn’t as bad as a forgettable CG/live-action mouse sequel.
Swingers vs. The Legend of Zorro
I’m still a fan of Banderas as Zorro. It wins over Swingers.
Swingers vs. Smart People
Another film about assholes – albeit a different type of asshole: the intellectual asshole. Still, it has a heart at its core, and a wealth of talent in its cast. Smart People wins over Swingers.
Swingers vs. Room 237
While it could be just a bunch of malarkey, there’s enough evidence to at least bring out an argument and compelling discussion. I’ll take Room 237 over Swingers.
Swingers vs. Benji: The Hunted
Nostalgia + my childhood + incredibly adorable animals = winner.
Swingers is now ranked #1129 out of 1396 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up are In a Lonely Place, Notorious, and Le Cercle Rouge. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.