No film better captures the mix of frustration, ennui, thrills, and hipness that characterizes working and socializing in the LA "biz" crowd, in which dynamos like Vince Vaughn's Trent and homesick East Coasters like Jon Favreau's Mikey nomadically slink from bar to bar and party to party (each in his own car, of course). Vaughn's career was born with his incredibly loose supporting role as the bright-eyed, sarcastic, eternally self-confident, and surprisingly sweet Trent. Where a lesser movie might make Trent invincible, or give him nasty feet of clay, Swingers instead reveals its superman simply to be human. That's why Swingers is so successful, both comically and dramatically: it is true not only to the surreal LA scene but also to the people who inhabit it. Swingers shows them for what they are: talented, rootless socialites in a fairyland in which they're always a few steps from stardom and a half-step from working at Starbucks. They're like young adults everywhere, only with better dialogue, snazzier lingo, and cooler shirts. Doug Liman's direction and Favreau's sharp script are both "money," though Favreau's sullen Mikey is a little too much of a whiner, one of the film's few weaknesses. It should also be said that, owing to its faithful depiction of LA, the movie is funnier once you've spent even a single evening in the city of the beautiful and unemployed. Nevertheless, Swingers is a dead-on comic snapshot that will resonate with anyone who's ever experienced the terrifying and exhilarating world of young, single adulthood.
by Matthew Doberman review