Swinging bachelors make a comeback in Doug Liman’s comedy. The action centers around Mike (Jon Favreau), a struggling stand-up comic, who has been distraught and upset since his girlfriend left him six months ago. His friends all try to cheer him up, particularly Trent (Vince Vaughn), a cool modern day lounge lizard, who thinks a trip to Vegas and a quick one night stand is all Mike needs to snap out of his funk. Mike’s other friends have problems of their own. Rob (Ron Livingston) is an out-of-work actor who has descended to auditioning for the role of Goofy at Disneyland. Sue (Patrick Van Horn) is nurturing a temper, and is always trying to prove himself. The group makes the nightly rounds of parties, lounges and bars, all the while contemplating the best tactics to win the “babies”, as Trent fondly calls them. Trent’s faux-hip vocabulary is but one source of humor in Swingers. Another lucrative well is the ongoing discussion on the rules behind modern relationships, ranging from tips on conversation to how long to wait to call someone after scoring her number. Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn are standouts in the cast. Favreau is appropriately fumbling and pitiful as Mike, and Vaughn seems positively sharklike as the swinger with all the right moves. The rest of the characters, however, including Rob and Sue, are poorly fleshed out, and the scenes directly involving them aren’t as interesting as Mike and Trent’s various adventures. Favreau’s screenplay is full of wit and two very obvious nods to the films of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Swingers has a few good laughs here and there, but never achieves anything poignant.
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