New on Blu-ray: Swingers

By Robert B. DeSalvo

The 90s indie sensation starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn is finally on Blu-ray.

Creator: Doug Limon

MPAA Rating: R

Studio: Lionsgate

Doug Limon’s hilarious 1996 indie sensation Swingers is the guy comedy to revisit for a little ‘90s nostalgia now that it is making its Blu-ray debut at last. Written by Jon Favreau as a sort of semi-autobiographical account of looking for work and navigating Los Angeles’ hipster scene, Swingers gave Vince Vaughn his breakout role, paved the way for Favreau to direct blockbuster movies like two Iron Man films and Cowboys & Aliens, and gave the creators of Entourage something to chew on before churning out their own show on HBO about male-bonding in Hollywood.

Before Favreau and Vaughn got “all grown up” on us, the two played best buds trying to make it big in Hollywood in the '90s. Favreau is Mike, a lovesick comedian transplant from New York who is having trouble letting go of the girlfriend back home who dumped him, and Vaughn plays Trent, a fast-talking playboy actor who tries to shake his best friend out of his rut. Trent’s platonic man-love for Mike is actually sweet as he desperately tries to cheer Mike up by dragging him to Las Vegas in the middle of the night for an impulse trip. Trent keeps telling Mike he’s “so money” and gives him tips on corralling some “beautiful babies,” but Mike still needs time to get his game back.

Back in Los Angeles, it’s fun to watch the two immerse themselves in the 90s swing-dance scene in Los Angeles. Dressed in sharp threads, the guys crawl between smoky hotspots like the Dresden Room and the Derby to toss back martinis, talk about their latest auditions and get the numbers of beautiful babies. In these pre-texting—heck, pre-cell phone—times, Trent tells us it is all about going in for the kill and getting the number, even if you have to wait several days to give her a call so as to not look too eager. “Jaws” music plays as Trent approaches a ditzy girl at a Hollywood Hills party and Steven Spielberg—who loved the movie—later cast Vaughn in Jurassic Park: The Lost World because of this scene. Mike eventually drops Trent’s advice and impresses L.A. newbie Heather Graham with his dance-floor skills and newfound honesty, but Trent’s intentions remain true.

The swing-dance scene is all but a memory in Los Angeles, just like smoking in bars and using the Club in your car, but Swingers remains a seminal bromance that shows us how much some things never change even when everything else does in pop culture. Like Trent says, “Mikey’s the big winner. Mikey wins.” So does Swingers in high definition.

Best extras: This Blu-ray debut has filmmakers’ audio commentary, the four-part “Making It in Hollywood” documentary, five extended and alternate scenes from the cutting room floor and the silly Swing Blade short film—a parody of Swingers and Sling Blade.


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