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Swingers

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by Victor Simpkins
Written by Jon Favreau
Starring Jon Favreau
Vince Vaughn
Ron Livingston
Alex Désert
Patrick Van Horn
Heather Graham
Deena Martin
Music by Don George
Johnny Hodges
Harry James
Editing by Stephen Mirrione
Distributed by Miramax
Release date(s) October 18, 1996
Running time 94 min.
Language English
Budget $250,000

Swingers is a film released in 1996 about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Doug Liman, the movie starred Favreau and Vince Vaughn, and also featured performances by Ron Livingston and Heather Graham.

This film was rated #57 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies." The film was honored on the 2007 Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards.

Contents

Plot

Mike (Jon Favreau), a recent transplant to Los Angeles, has recently broken up with his long-time girlfriend of six years and is still having trouble letting go and moving on. His friend Trent (Vince Vaughn) takes him on an overnight trip to Las Vegas in an attempt to get him back in the game. Trent picks up a cocktail waitress (Deena Martin) and her actress friend (Katherine Kendall), but Mike's obsession with his ex-girlfriend spoils the one-night stand.

Back in Los Angeles, Mike attends various Hollywood and Los Feliz hot spots while his friends, Rob (Ron Livingston), Charles (Alex Desert) and Sue (Patrick Van Horn) coach him on the rules of seduction. Mike makes several awkward attempts at speaking to women, but they all end disastrously. Along the way, the group discusses movies, video games, and their floundering careers in show business.

When Mike learns to accept himself and eschew the pretenses and self-promotion involved in the Hollywood dating scene, he finally connects with a beautiful girl named Lorraine (Heather Graham). The next day, he gets a call from the ex-girlfriend he's been obsessing over but rejects her offer to get back together when Lorraine rings in on the other line. While discussing Mike's new situation at a diner, Trent interrupts to make a disastrous attempt at flirting with a woman nearby. As Trent tries to recover from the embarrassment, Mike smiles as the tables turn.

Cast

  • Jon Favreau as Mike Peters. A struggling comedian from New York, Mike recently broke up with his long-term girlfriend. Still pining over his loss, and unfamiliar with the dating game, Mike has difficulty meeting new women.
  • Vince Vaughn as Trent Walker. An aspiring actor, Trent is Mike's closest friend. Trent is also a loud, charismatic, and occasionally obnoxious swinger. He makes it his personal mission to teach Mike the swinging lifestyle.
  • Ron Livingston as Rob. Mike's friend from New York, Rob is a recent arrival to Los Angeles and even less knowledgeable about the swinging scene, but he is not fresh out of a relationship and has a much more optimistic view of life. He provides a sympathetic ear to Mike and considers taking a job at Disneyland to pay the rent.
  • Patrick Van Horn as Sue. A hot-headed swinger, Sue discusses the finer points of seduction with Trent, but is somewhat less sympathetic to Mike's problems. Mike later tells Rob that he is named after the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue."
  • Alex Désert as Charles. A swinging acquaintance of the group and another struggling actor. Charles accompanies the group while bar-hopping around Hollywood, proclaiming each place "dead" as they leave.
  • Heather Graham as Lorraine. A woman that Mike meets at a bar, Lorraine has a good sense of humor and is not overly concerned about the rules of dating. She's also new to the LA scene, having left a relationship behind in Wisconsin.

Popular culture references

Hollywood and show business is a significant theme in the film, and it makes many references to other movies. Trent's license plate reads "THX1138", a reference to the license plate of a hot rod in George Lucas's American Graffiti, which was itself a reference to Lucas's previous movie, THX 1138. A Reservoir Dogs poster can be seen on the wall of Sue's apartment while Trent and Sue discuss the differences between NHL '94 and NHLPA '93 as if they are playing the 1994 version of the game, but they are actually seen to be playing the 1993 version. The theme music to Jaws is used when Trent has an unpleasant conversation with a woman, as well as when Mike approaches a woman at the Dresden.

The film also emulates a number of famous sequences from popular movies. The diner scene and slow-motion credit sequence from Reservoir Dogs are emulated as the swingers discuss movies and then walk out to their cars to go bar-hopping. The long following shot through the side entrance of a club from Goodfellas is also emulated by the swingers as they enter a club through the kitchen entrance. Both movies and directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino are discussed by the group.

Characters in the film also make frequent references to other films. Star Wars is referenced when Mike tells Trent he has Jedi mind tricks. When Trent calls Mike "the guy behind the guy behind the guy," he quotes a line from Things Change that gets Joe Mantegna and his companion treated like a high roller at a casino.

At the casino, when Trent tells Mike to behave with an air of nonchalance, so they will be "comp'd" with the Rain Man suite.

Another film directly referenced in the movie was Boyz in the Hood when Sue has an exchange of words with a group of wannabe thugs and then pulls a gun on them.

The Godfather is also referenced in Swingers when Trent says "pull me a Fredo." This refers to the scene in The Godfather where Mo Green says that Fredo Corleone was "banging" cocktail waitresses two at a time.

Mikey's business card, which he gives to Lorraine towards the end of the movie, features the logo from You Bet Your Life.

Production

A still from Swingers

Favreau wrote the screenplay to Swingers in two weeks, with various friends in mind for key roles. One scene, in which Trent yells at Sue for insulting Mike, was written at Vaughn's request to make it clear that beneath Trent's swagger, he truly cared for Mike as a friend. Favreau and his friends gave reader's theater performances of the script to drum up interest in and capital for the movie.

Swingers was filmed on location at several Los Angeles nightclubs, particularly in the hip Los Feliz neighborhood, including the Dresden Lounge and the Derby. The Las Vegas scenes were filmed primarily in two locations, with the exterior casino shots taking place at the Stardust Resort & Casino and all the subsequent interior shots being filmed at the Fremont Hotel and Casino, farther north in downtown Las Vegas.

In addition to casting their friends in key roles, Favreau and Vaughn gave cameo roles to their family members. Vince Vaughn's father, Vernon Vaughn, plays the lucky gambler at the $100 minimum blackjack table, while Favreau's grandmother, Joan Favreau, is the lucky gambler at the $5 minimum blackjack table.

Reception

Swingers was a critical and financial success. The film had a total budget of about $250,000 and a worldwide theatrical gross of $6,542,637. It served as a breakthrough for Vince Vaughn, who gained public exposure and critical acclaim for his performance in the film. In particular, he caught the eye of Steven Spielberg when a copy of the film was sent to the director so they could clear the rights for the Jaws music. Spielberg later cast Vaughn in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Director Doug Liman also used the film to help launch a successful career in Hollywood, and it was the first major film for Ron Livingston.

The release of the film coincided with the swing revival of the 1990s. It increased interest in 1960s culture, Hollywood nightlife, and swing music. Some of the slang used in the movie became popular in the years following its release, especially the use of the word "money" as a catch-all term of approval or quality. The exclamation "Vegas, baby!" also became a common quote when referencing the city. Also notable is the introduction of the term "Wingman" in its social interaction context. The term is used to describe the supporting role of a friend when approaching women.

The film was voted as the 14th best film set in Los Angeles in the last 25 years by a group of Los Angeles Times writers and editors with two criteria: "The movie had to communicate some inherent truth about the L.A. experience, and only one film per director was allowed on the list".[1]

Locations

  • Mikey's apartment is located in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, just a couple blocks from the Dresden Room.
  • The Dresden room is a popular (classic) bar and club in the Los Feliz neighborhood, located at 1760 N. Vermont Ave. Marty & Elayne, who are performing in the Dresden scene in the movie, perform at the Dresden in real life several nights a week.
  • The cafe where various factions of the crew meet and eat was the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop (now renamed under new ownership as the 101 Cafe) and is part of the Best Western Hotel on Franklin Avenue near Hollywood, and near the 101 freeway.
  • The bar where the characters dance is The Derby in Los Feliz, on the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz Blvd. In January 2009, the nightclub closed its doors.

Soundtrack

Swingers Original Soundtrack

Swingers Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack by Various Artists
Released October 15, 1996
Length 43:20
Label Hollywood Records

There are two collections from the motion picture. The first soundtrack was released in 1996 and contained music included in the film. The second was released in 1999 and contained "Magic Man" by Heart and a studio version of "Staying Alive" by lounge act Marty and Elayne as well as other tracks inspired by the film.

Swingers: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture

  1. "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You" (Dean Martin)
  2. "Paid For Loving" (Love Jones)
  3. "With Plenty of Money and You" (Count Basie/Tony Bennett)
  4. "You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)" (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)
  5. "Knock Me a Kiss" (Louis Jordan)
  6. "Wake Up" (The Jazz Jury)
  7. "Groove Me" (King Floyd)
  8. "I Wan'na Be Like You" (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)
  9. "Mucci's Jag M.K. II" (Joey Altruda)
  10. "King of the Road" (Roger Miller)
  11. "Pictures" (The Jazz Jury)
  12. "She Thinks I Still Care" (George Jones)
  13. "Car Train" (The Jazz Jury)
  14. "Pick Up the Pieces" (Average White Band)
  15. "Go Daddy-O" (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)
  16. "I'm Beginning to See the Light" (Bobby Darin)

Swingers Too!: More Music From... "Swingers"

  1. "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" - (Dean Martin)
  2. "Adam and Eve" - Paul Anka
  3. "Magic Man" - Heart
  4. "She's A Woman (W-O-M-A-N)" - (Sammy Davis, Jr.) with (Count Basie)
  5. "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" - (Dinah Washington)/(Brook Benton)
  6. "Down For Double" - (Mel Tormé)
  7. "Staying Alive" - (Marty & Elayne)
  8. "There'll Be Some Changes Made" - (Ann-Margret)
  9. "One Mint Julep" - (Xavier Cugat)
  10. "Gimme That Wine" - Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
  11. "Datin' With No Dough" - (Royal Crown Revue)
  12. "Bring Me Sunshine" - (Willie Nelson)

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Swingers is a 1996 comedy that follows insecure Mike and smooth-talking Trent, two retro-hip showbiz wanna-bes, as they make the scene at various clubs in Hollywood and Vegas.

Directed by Doug Liman and written by Jon Favreau.
Cocktails first. Questions later. Taglines

Contents

Trent Walker

  • I don't want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone's really hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know. The guy you're not sure whether or not you like yet. You're not sure where he's coming from. Okay? You're a bad man. You're a bad man, Mikey. You're a bad man, bad man.

Dialogue

Trent: Look, you take yourself out of the game, you start talking about puppy dogs and ice cream, of course its going to end up on the friendship tip.
Mike: I just don't think she liked me.
Trent: Baby you are so money and don't even know it.

Rob: Those guys are right. You're money.
Mike: Then why won't she call?
Rob: She won't call because you left. She's got her own life to deal with and that's in New York. She's a sweet girl and I love her to pieces, but fuck her, man. You got to get on with your life. You've got to let go of the past Mikey, and when you do, the future is beautiful. Alright? Look out the window. It's sunny every day here. It's like manifest destiny. Don't tell me we didn't make it. We made it. We're here. And everything that is past is prologue to this, all the shit that didn't kill us is only - ya know, all that shit... You're gonna get over it.
Mike: How did you get over it? I mean, how long did it take you?
Rob: I don't know, man. Sometimes it still hurts. I don't know, man. It's like you wake up every day and it hurts a little less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn't hurt at all. And it's like, and this might sound a little weird, but it's like you almost miss that pain.
Mike: You miss the pain?
Rob: Yeah. For the same reason you miss her... Because you lived with it for so long.

Mike: Look, we're gonna spend half the night driving around the Hills looking for this one party and you're going to say it sucks and we're all gonna leave and then we're gonna go look for this other party. But all the parties and all the bars, they all suck. I spend half the night talking to some girl who's looking around the room to see if there's somebody else who's more important she should be talking to. And it's like I'm supposed to be all happy 'cause she's wearing a backpack, you know? And half of them are just nasty skanks who wouldn't be nothing except they're surrounded by a bunch of drunken horny assholes. And I'm gonna tell you something T. Are you listening?
Trent: Yeah, I'm listening.
Mike: I'm not gonna be one of those assholes. Alright? It just makes me sick. It's like, some nasty skank who isn't half the woman my girlfriend is, is gonna front me? It makes me want to fuckin' puke!

Trent: You know what? You’re like a big bear with claws, with fangs-
Sue: Big fucking teeth, man.
Trent: With big fucking teeth on you. And she’s just like this little bunny, just kind of cowering in the corner-
Sue: Shivering!
Trent: Yeah, man. You got these claws, and you’re staring at these claws, man, and you’re thinkin’ 'how am I supposed to kill this bunny'.
Sue: You’re pokin’ at it. You’re pokin’ at it.
Trent: Yeah, you’re not hurting it. You’re just gently battin’ the bunny around. You know what I mean? The bunny’s scared, Mike. The bunny’s scared of you.
Sue: And you got these fucking claws, man.
Trent: You got these fucking claws and these fangs, man. And you’re looking at your claws and you’re lookin’ at your fangs and you’re thinkin’ to yourself, ‘I don’t know what to do’, man. ‘I don’t know how to kill the bunny. With this, I don’t know how to kill the bunnies’, man.
Sue: You’re like a big bear, man.

Mike: So how long do I wait to call?
Trent: A day.
Mike: Tomorrow.
Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.
Trent: Yeah.
Mike: So two days?
Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that, two days.
Sue: Definitely, two days is like industry standard.
Trent: You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it's like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money. What do you think?
Sue: Yeah, but two's enough not to look anxious.
Trent: But I think three days is kind of money. You know because you...
Mike: Yeah, but you know what, maybe I'll wait 3 weeks. How's that? And tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and I just happened to run into her number.
Charles: Then ask her where you met her.
Mike: Yeah, I'll ask her where I met her. I don't remember. What does she look like? And then I'll asked if we fucked. Is that... would that be... T, would that be the money?
Trent: You know what. Ha ha ha Mike, laugh all you want but if you call too soon you might scare off a nice baby who's ready to party.
Mike: Well how long are you guys gonna wait to call your babies?
Trent, Sue: Six days.

Lorraine: Hi, Mike, I'm Lorraine.
Mike: Like the quiche.
Lorraine: Yeah, yeah, the quiche. That's a really original joke.
Mike: I like quiche. How's that?
Lorraine: Yeah? Well, I thought real men didn't like quiche.
Mike: Yeah, well, my reputation seems to have preceded me here.
Lorraine: You're not a real man?
Mike: Not lately, no.

Taglines

  • Cocktails first. Questions later.
  • Get a nightlife.
  • There ain't nothing wrong with letting a girl know that you're money, and that you want to party.
  • This movie plays reality.
  • You're money and you don't even know it!

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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