"Haven't you seen Boyz N the Hood? Now one of us is gonna get shot."
In 1996, Jon Favreau released a small indie film that cost a mere $200,000 to make, and grossed only 4.6 million dollars in it's theatrical release. Directed by an unknown named Doug Liman, who has since gone on to direct "The Bourne Identity", and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith". It starred Jon Favreau himself, who had small roles in "Rudy" and "PCU", but had yet to have a starring role, and Vince Vaughn, who had no major film roles to his credit yet. Heather Graham, in fact, who has a fairly small role in the film, was the most notable person in the cast. After it's theatrical run, the film was released on DVD, and started to gain momentum. I first saw "Swingers" in 1997, my senior year in high school, after renting it at the local video store. I showed my friends, they showed their friends, and the word was out. There was a new comedy dynamic duo on the scene, and they were ready to blow Hollywoods' socks off.
The film is loosely based on the true life story of Jon Favreau (Mikey), Vince Vaughn (Trent), and Ron Livingston, who plays Rob, Mikeys' friend. These three young men had all moved to Hollywood around the same time, and helped each other through the trials and tribulations of trying to make it in the cutthroat world of acting.
Mikey (Favreau) is six months removed from his six year relationship from the love of his life. After that relationship ended, Mikey left New York to go to Hollywood. As a stand-up comedian, he has heard that sitcoms are "handed out at the airport" in L.A. Since arriving, however, he has found that roles are not easy to come by, and getting over your girlfriend is damn near impossible. Especially when it's all you think and talk about. Trent (Vaughn) is Mikeys' smooth talking, charismatic friend who is desperately trying to help Mikey get over his ex, and realize his potential to get laid, and have a good time. It comes really easy for Trent, and Mikey always comes off as the uncomfortable third wheel. Rob (Livingston) is Mikeys' friend from back East, who has followed Mikey to Hollywood with the same dream to pursue, also struggling.
This movie is mainly about the dynamic involved in different friend groups, as well as a looking glass into Hollywood nightlife. There are so many quotable lines from this film, which is one of the things that helped it blow up, and we also get some great insight into the world of dating. How to pick up "beautiful babies who want to party", at any social event, or nightclub, or bar just by following Trents' simple rules of engagement.
The real driving force of this film, and what made it so memorable, was the dynamic between Vaughn and Favreau. It's obvious watching this film that these two are perfect comedic soulmates and will always compliment each others style. Considering it has been 13 years since "Swingers" debuted, and "Couple's Retreat", which I have yet to see but am very excited for, stars these two gentleman together again, as they have been several times now, it's clear that these two may very well just be the new Matthau and Lemmon.