Unless you were around as it was happening, it’s easy to overlook just how massive Swingers was when it dropped in 1996. No one knew, at the time, who Jon Favreau or Vince Vaughn were. But all of a sudden, movie buffs were screaming about going to “Vegas, baby!” and everyone was using “money” as the highest form of compliment. (Example: “You’re so money, baby, and you don’t even know it.”) Swingers tapped into a rising zeitgeist of outsider cool, making overnight sensations out of swing bands and using Cinema Verite to make L.A. nightlife appear to be the thriving dream of an up-and-coming generation.
But Swingers, first and foremost, is a break-up movie. One of the greates break-up movies. Jon Favreau’s character, Mike, is suffering throughout most of the film, despite everything his kind but egotistical buddy Trent (Vaughn) is trying to do to lift him up. We recently had Vaughn on the ReelBlend podcast to chat up his new film Freaky, but had to mention Swingers as the indie darling is on the verge of turning 25. Looking back on what they accomplished, Vince Vaughn had this to say about Swingers, and its impact:
We all remember how Trent handles those beautiful babies. He treats them like a scared little bunny. He doesn’t act like the guy in the PG-13 movie. Trent’s the guy in the rated R movie. Such a classic scene:
But in reflecting on Swingers, Vince Vaughn also realizes that they caught lightning in a bottle with that cast, that script, and the DIY approach that director Doug Liman brought to their filming. They didn’t have a budget. They couldn’t shut down locations. These were newcomer actors playing characters we recognized, and all of that, according to Vince Vaughn, made the movie relatable, and keeps it relevant 25 years later.
He told ReelBlend:
Swingers is one of those movies I’m not surprised we’re still discussing 25 years after the fact. It’s so relatable, and in tune with its audience, I’m quite certain we’ll be talking about it for the next 25 years. Here’s our full ReelBlend conversation with Vince Vaughn:
And make sure that you check out Freaky when it hits select theaters on Friday, November 13.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.