Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movie Review: Swingers 4 Stars

There have been countless films that have made misguided attempts at defining a generation, or speaking to a generation, or reflecting a generation or whatever. Most of them fail miserably for that reason.

Swingers, on the other hand, is a movie that perhaps best captured the vibe of our generation precisely because it wasn’t trying. Instead, writer/star Jon Favreau and director Doug Liman merely attempt to tell a story, a small, personal, intimate story about the emotional stages of a break-up.

Mike (Favreau) has moved from New York to L.A. to become an actor, leaving his girl behind. She has taken up with another guy and isn’t calling lonely, confused Mike at all. In a complete and utter funk, Mike wallows in self-pity, kvetching with his friends Double-Down (Vince Vaughn) a boy named Sue (Patrick Van Horn) and Rob (Ron Livingston), who offer conflicting bad advice and take him trolling for women and good times in L.A. and Las Vegas.

Although the world they inhabit is hipster LA, none of the characters are truly hip in anyway, no matter how hard they try. This may be the key as to why all the characters are charming even when, and perhaps especially when, they are saying the most stupid things about love and life. By no means a perfect movie, Swingers is still funny, honest and excruciatingly quaint. And that counts for a lot.

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