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Swingers

Year: 1996
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughan, Ron Livingston, Heather Graham
How many successful Hollywood directors got attention by giving us iconic indie projects like this one before the studio system swallowed them up?

Swingers is to Doug Liman what Once Were Warriors was to Lee Tamahori, what Smash Palace was to Roger Donaldson; a brave new voice with a singular vision and something distinctive to say ending up another special effects or personality hack for hire.

There's just one problem with Swingers though – it isn't any good. Styled as a sort of Quentin Tarantino meets Leisure Suit Larry, it deals with a group of friends who fancy themselves as men about town in contemporary Hollywood, driving around from one cool bar to another trying to pick up girls. All that is except for Favreu, the loser who can't get over the girlfriend who dumped him (and who's misery is lifted through no soul searching or epiphany of his own, just through meeting another girl).

The loudmouth swagger Vince Vaughan brings to most of his roles is there is spirit but limps along trying to show through the muddy script, and Livingston is too far in the background to really show up.

Little plot other than 'a few nights in the life of' don't do anything to make you care more about the characters or what they're going through, and I for one couldn't see where the cult appeal came from.

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