SWINGERS was released in 1996 and Sidey in particular has loved it ever since.
Dan joined in the conversation as the guys try to pin down exactly why this film is such a hit with the fellas. Is it the eminently quotable dialogue, the brilliant soundtrack or the gents style? Possibly all of those things.
This movie launched the careers of Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Doug Liman. Not to give too much away, but we love this movie!
Sidey: Right. Last time we nominated something that in advance, I knew that I really loved that. That was the Simpsons and it was terrible content. So I was, I've been thinking about nominating. Film swingers for ages, for ages, because I know that Pete hadn't seen it, so I really wanted him to sit, but he has subsequently watched it without it having to be nominated.
But then you went and nominated it. He pulled it out the bag?
Dan: Yeah, it was just in the mood for it. Yeah. It's been a long time since I'd seen it. We flirted around the edges.
It's made a few of our top fives and other kind of talked about films. It it's one of those where little budget cult following made a few quid, but launched some careers as well. And yeah. Should we get into it then?
Sidey: Yeah. Well, full disclosure. I already, I fucking love this film. I absolutely love it. I, so this came out in 96 and I would've been at that point, just like discovering that there were films out there that weren't like, you know, on the cinema, especially in Jersey.
Yeah. Where fairly limited to blockbuster street sort of stuff. And I was doing an, a level of media studies where we were just getting a bit of exposure to other stuff that's out there. And so I was taking things out, reading magazines and this one cropped up and I picked it up on VHS and watched it an instant fucking 10 at a 10 for me.
Absolutely love it. So yeah, let's get.
Dan: Well, it's I'm gonna Vince VA and John fro, right? Not F
as I thought. And he wrote this
Sidey: Mr. Fro did. Yeah. It's a semi autobiographical tale of him moving to LA
Dan: And he's a comedian he's in New York. He was a bit of a, a big deal. But in this story he's kind of getting over a relationship for that he'd had for, for six years.
And then six months ago, the woman just got up, walked out and has now set up with somebody else. And he's just an emotional wreck. And within that, you've got this friendship group that want to take him out that want. Lift him lift his spirits and give him a good time and, and show him, you know, there's plenty more fish in the sea, basically.
Sidey: Yeah the intro, the very start is it's, the soundtrack is like a jazzy kind of swing soundtrack.
It's fantastic. I've got, got that as well. And you are given a, a load of stills of like famous Hollywood landmarks that are out there, but also it errs more on the side. Like drink culture and going out and having a good time. There's lots of that. So you get a few shots of some landmarks and a lot of bars and a lot of dancing and all that.
Yeah. Then it cuts to Mike. Who is the struggling comedian actor. Who's moved out, he's having a heart to heart with his friend. Rob.
Dan: Yeah. And Rob's just moved out as well.
Sidey: is one of those friends who you can actually talk to and he's there to support you and he'll listen the rest of his friends. Not so much. No, but he's having a hot talk and they actually lay out the whole plot of the film. In this opening conversation where he is like, I, you know, I want this girl I'm devastated.
I want her back. And he's like, she won't come back. And he's like, what if I pretend to forget about her? And then she might come back and she's like, no, she won't come back until you've actually forgotten about her and everything that they say is it plays out.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah, that's
Sidey: pretty cool. I like the way they do that
Dan: And it, it is like, you know, that conversation is, is them having one of many, you.
Conversations that everybody's had where you, you kind of know the answer, but there is no answer. And he's just heartbroken. There is no right or wrong approach for this, but other than just moving on with your life and trying to forget her.
Yeah. And then she'll come because that's so's law. That's basically what you're saying.
Sidey: Yeah. And he says, no, that's, that's the thing.
She won't come back until you've actually forgot about, oh, that's the rub, you know, that's the run. They said. Mike goes home back to his little apartment, which is where he actually lived. John fre actually lived at
Dan: Yeah, I heard, I read that in the research. So he had that apartment and that car.
Sidey: Yes. That was his car as well. I've got the make of the car. We can get into that, but he's goes to his phone and the phone features quite a lot in the film. It was a couple of key moments and his aunt phone Wass just listened to his messages. Just hoping that one's gonna be from the ex-girlfriend, but it's not.
But then he calls up his friend, Trent played by Vince Vaughn. I thought that this is.
They're Dabies, but no, they're in, what's the American football one that you like
Dan: Rudy. They have small parts in that. And they met, I think, on the, the set of another film and, and people in touch, but
Sidey: so young in this though, when you look at it now, so young, fresh faced skinnier, you know, all that sort of stuff.
And Trent completely different to Rob. Like he's just like, we're going out and taking out. We're gonna party. There's a couple of parties, one from modeling agency. We're going here. We're going there. And like, no fuck that. I don't wanna go out. I don't wanna see a lot of girls. They're all horrible.
You know, I just, he just not interested. He just wants to stay at home. He's like, no, come on. We're gonna Vegas. And he's like, no, we're not, we're not, we're, we're gonna Vegas. I wish I could just go to Vegas
Dan: So he just, yeah, they, he talks him into it. He jumps in the car. And
Sidey: but just before they did that, there's a bit, cuz the stuff that I like about this film is obvious.
It's no budget, right? So there's a lot of
Dan: two, 200 grand. There's
lot of sort of gorilla filmmaking. If you like, and just silly little details, like they're in the apartment, it's not like a studio, it's an actual apartment. And the reason that he opens his fridge and there's nothing in it is just to get some more lighting in the shot.
That's the only reason they did that. I just think that's like cool detail. Then they do, they get in the car and they go to Vegas.
Dan: which is always fun. And, and they start off going Vegas, baby, we're going to Vegas. And then it's a long, old drive. It's probably five or six hours or something because it's 300.
Kilometers or whatever. And, and so you just see them in various kind of levels of Vegas,
Sidey: fall's asleep, isn't he? Yeah, the enthusiasm starts Towan but, and then Trent's, he's gotta be somewhere at nine in the morning. So it's like, it's a pretty epic trip, but I'd have done it. Yeah, I think definitely.
Dan: He's just, and the thing I like about Trent all the way through this film, he's an optimist.
And he's, I mean, he's, he's nuts, but he's a lot of fun and he's trying to help his friend have fun and move on and, and kind of raise his spirits. And he looks out for him, you know, he he's goes through the, the film and he, he really does care about his friend. He's got sometimes a weird way of showing it because it's his way.
Sidey: he's a real lad lad.
If you like, he's just all provider, like we gotta go out, meet, just go to the next girl, just move on to the next girl, blah. It's all about that. As long as you're having a good time, you'll be fine. Whereas his other friend. Rob. Yeah. Is a lot more considered and like, just take your time. You'll be okay. You just gotta, you know, live with it for a while and all that.
Dan: And you've got Sue as well. Who
Sidey: it's just a
Dan: Yeah. Who who's just like
Sidey: we've all got a friend like
Dan: He's just definitely a little bit off,
Sidey: you know, when you go out. For drinks, something could go Asray. And it does in this film well, not, not to piece, but there's potential for, for mayhem there, for sure. So they go to Vegas and they are painting a picture of it's gonna be wild, you know, we're gonna get comped a room and we're gonna get free food and it's gonna be off the chart.
And then they get there and they go to, I think it was the Imperial
Dan: Yeah It's one of the old school ones
Sidey: Well, I've been to the Imperial guy. It's not there anymore. I want, I, I won a poker tournament in there as it happens. Yeah. Did. Yeah. Did indeed. Yeah. How much? Couple of grand.
Sidey: Yeah. $20. Buy-in I think it was in any case that's not relevant, but that it's not one of the real money
Dan: Well, you walk in
Sidey: says, I thought we, you know, thought Caesars was more the, the place he's like, no, no, you don't need all that pirates of the Caribbean
Dan: Yeah, this is it. This is the old school. And the he's insisted that Vince form puts on a suit and they, they look money.
So they'll be given free things. And they're gonna go over to the I think he said blackjack table. And they go over to, to one table and change $300. They have a little argument they're embarrassing themselves to the table. They wanna come across as high rollers. Yeah. And they instantly just lose their money.
Sidey: the guy he says his plan is I've, I've taken out 300. I can only afford to gamble with a hundred.
Yeah. We're not gonna get you very far in Vegas. I can tell you that. So when they go to change the, the money for chips, the guy's like this is a hundred dollars minimum. Something like that 50 or whatever. It's perhaps you'd be more comfortable than one of our lower estate savers and he looks over and it's just for, of like old GIRs, you know, it's like, so
Dan: a lot of that lot, we actually family
Sidey: the old man, the old man that's doing well.
That's Vince Vaughn's dad.
Dan: right? Okay.
Sidey: Who's also named V what is his name? Vernon Vaughn is
Dan: Vernon VA. Right.
Sidey: And the lady who gets comped and they're raging about that's John F. Grandmother,
Dan: Right. Brilliant.
Sidey: So when you're making a film for no money, you gotta call
Dan: You're bringing everyone. So that, that was brilliant. Yeah. I like that little fact in the, in the film. And well,
Sidey: what's the golden rule of blackjack down.
Dan: Well, you, you, you doubled down on
Sidey: double down 11
Dan: and he did and lost. And that was the last really of his money.
He's a bit beat Mike up because he's, he's so upset. Everything else is just kind of descending. The enthusiasm for Vegas has gone, but Trent's got other ideas cuz he is a half glass full man and he cracks onto the, the waitress and sets up a double date for him.
Sidey: Yeah. And this is where it is one of the scenes where it's just starts to get really fucking
Dan: really, really cringy.
Sidey: There's two particular ones in this movie and this is the first one where he's sort of enthused.
Okay. Yeah, let's do it like so they go out for drinks with the waitress. And actually brings a power along. And with Trent it's all going great. And then every time you just get a little snippet of conversation with Marty, he just fucks it up with some like terrible one liner.
His chat is terrible and it's just
Dan: no confidence in
Sidey: You know, it just cl is cl oh no, you're watching. Oh geez. But they, but the girls are like, no, that's cool.
Dan: They they're keen.
They go back and
Sidey: go back to the trailer.
Dan: and this, yeah, as you say, it's a, it is a scene that they're all having a great time. Trent's kind of bringing it together, but everybody's laughing along and eventually Trent and the waitress goes to get the guided tour, the,
Sidey: the tiny little trailer
Dan: and closed the, the bedroom door, leaving Mike and her friend alone.
And he kind of gets up doesn't he, he's just about to kiss the girl he's laying on the bed and go, I'm just gonna check and from the angle that he can see, it looks like Mike and the girl are kissing and he's getting on. So he's been brilliant. I dunno, like 20 minutes later, you know, they're still talking about his ex-girlfriend and everything, and it's just gone down there.
Sidey: and she's like, oh no, she really feels for him.
She's really like, and it's like, you know, I think I need to check my messages. I think it's
Dan: so bad. It's so, so bad. So he needs then to use her phone. It's an oh 800 number he's practically begging now to, to use the phone, to check his, his messages for the girl that hasn't called him in six months.
Sidey: like categorically not gonna have a message from her, but he does it anyway.
And he has to interrupt them while they're getting down to business. Tr. Bit peeved.
Dan: he's a bit. Yeah,
Sidey: say. It's not that I hugely thrilled with this
Dan: but again, he, he doesn't ever really hold it against him. It's his may he goes, okay, come on. We'll we'll, we'll sort this out, buddy.
You know, we we'll get it next time or, or whatever. And anyway, they, they leave don't they, they leave Vegas heading back. And it kind of just blends in this film, into the next scene. They're going out again. It's as you say, the plot is laid out from the beginning. So we go from party to scene and the whole thing is really about picking out that friendship groups, you know, I mean, it's a bloke film, I guess.
It's they go to a party. They there's characters in there. There's the. The guy who just says, yeah, it's dead here. Anyway. every single place
Sidey: it's absolutely jumping. Yeah.
they go to those parties. They, they have a night that starts off round at sues. We get introduced to Sue who's is called Sue because his dad was a big Johnny Cash fan.
Dan: Yeah. He likes playing video games, NFL, and and there's some brilliant scenes there where they're just winding each other up and it looks like on set. They're having a great time. Vince, VA's got the hockey player and he goes, look, your brain's sound on the floor. Look. No, that's your brain.
Sidey: We've all had
Dan: yeah, we've had those times.
Sidey: They shout abuse at the, the takeaway delivery man, everybody, he opens the door and they're just, they're pretty fucking rude to him. Then they go out and they're all dressed like reservoir dogs, and they have the reservoir dogs moment walking down the street in slowmo with the music.
They have the scene, the chat around the table, which It's all very referential to what they're trying to do. And it fucking works really well. I thought it was great. Yeah, really, really good.
Dan: Well, it is almost as I say, the, the Scorsese bit where it goes through the
Sidey: they talk about it and then they do it.
Yeah. And then they say, oh, you must, you've gotta be nuts to shoot a casino. Haven't they've already done it in the film. And they, they do the Tarantino chat and then they do the walk in slowmo with that's the reservoir dog fit. It's just fucking, really cool. And then they have this night out where.
Mike does meet a girl and just off his own back just goes for it and gets
Dan: well, he, he, he's like a big, big ferocious tiger and she's just like a little bunny rabbit, you know? So , she's just big.
He's got these big claws and fangs and, and she's just this scared little bunny rabbit that that's the advice that he's been getting from Trent, but the, the film kind of just flashes at one point, doesn't it? And she there's just like a little bunny on the chair.
Sidey: Cause that, that was, that was a, a speech that Vince VA actually gave to John fre. Yeah. In real life when he was, when he was struggling with his move to the, to LA and he was broken up and so they, and so they really wanted to include that in the film.
It's just great. Yeah. And this just leads up to the, one of the most excruciating scenes. I, I can barely watch it knowing what's coming.
Dan: Oh, the, yeah, the.
So he, he gets sent back in and gets the digits. Vince Vaughn has already kind of got digits or phone numbers of, of girls before and ripped them up in front of the boys. And he, he kind of
Sidey: phone her. Yeah.
Dan: but, you know, no, he's, he's really thinks proud of himself
Sidey: too. Yeah.
Dan: On the back and and then they have this conversation as, as they do lots of 'em, you know, the boys giving advice how long should I wait?
Oh, two days, two days is industry standard. Well, used to be three days is the new two days. And, you know, I waited six days once and, and he gets freaked out by all this kind of stuff and ends up calling a, that night at like 2 38. And then the me.
Sidey: I think that's too soon
Dan: And it is definitely too so soon. And just the way they set it up, as you pointed out, the answer phone is
Sidey: it's back
And at one point I'm not sure it is this scene or another scene. It kind of talks to it. Doesn't it?
Sidey: No, that's right at the start. And it says, oh, you know, she's too good for you. You're too good for her. And there's bloody more fish in the scene. He's going, thanks anything. But this one he's oh, it's me from the bar, blah, blah, blah.
And it cuts out before he gets to the end of his chat
is sort of like, fuck. So he. Does he have to, I dunno, but he rings back and he just get this series of messages being cut off and it it's so fucking
Dan: then he starts mentioning the X again. And it's just, yeah, it's
Sidey: I think it's like the seventh or eighth time that he calls back, the girl picks up the phone, says don't ever call me again.
Dan: and we're watching it all.
You just see him kind of go out a pitch and then come back onto the phone again and make another call.
Sidey: So embarrass.
Dan: Is, is that just digging a hole? He's just absolutely digging a hole. Yeah. And a couple of times it's referenced. They, you know, when they meet his mates, it's been two days, just give that go and he is just like zips up his jacket and walks along.
Cuz he, he can't face telling his mates. And it's, it is during one of these nights that they kind of just come out of a club and Sue bumps, the shoulder of another guy.
Sidey: Look pretty deliberate as well. He's just trying to be Mr. Tough.
Dan: Yeah. As if they're just, you know and he ends up having a row in the street.
Four or five of that one kind of crew and four or five Vince Vaughn, Mike.
Sidey: and yeah. And then Mike and Rob are not you know, they're not gonna be fighters.
Dan: fighters. They're just, no, they're not even saying anything. And you, you hear a little bit from the other side coming and coming and Sue then pulls a gun.
Yeah. And and starts waving it around. And of course they, they leg it in their car and everything and off they go, but his mates then just completely berate him.
Sidey: Yeah, vior, it's not like we're in fucking Compton, you know, with bullets wen by your head,
Dan: Yeah. You live in a nice area. What are you doing?
Sidey: here? And.
Mikey chaps up and Sue just fucking tears him down just says, you're a fucking, like little whiny bitch and you never stop going on about her and just like cuts him to shreds.
It's fucking brutal. Yeah. Yeah. And he's like, you know, stomps off in a Huff and he's back home,
Dan: Yeah. And, and Trey's trying to keep it all together, Trent. Sorry. He's trying to keep it all together and say, no, Mike don't go away.
What are you doing in he's? Anyway, he he's. He goes into a full depression then doesn't he? He he's back in his apartment, the middle of the day.
The blinds are drawn. Yeah. He's got his box of memories and photographs out just on his lap and he's just wallowing himself pity and orange juice.
Sidey: Yeah, but they does, they, they ask him Trent calls him and says, you know, do you wanna come around? And we're gonna go out. We're gonna,
Dan: forget about
Sidey: I think it's the Derby, this club that they go to, there's a big, bad voodoo dad ear on.
great. He says, come on, we're gonna go out. Oh, okay. Why not? I'll I'll I'll pop around. So he goes back to the flat where we've had this great night out the, the last time and when he gets there, the guys that he's pulled the gun out on are actually in the apartment. And he's like, what the hell is going on?
He's always bumped into him later on that night. I really sounds, you
Dan: they're really, really, I like this part of the film that they all kind of made up and they're playing video games now and going shut up how's pain. I got this and it's like, Just another extension of their friendship group then. And the misunderstanding of waving a gun in somebody's face just a couple of hours before was all forgotten.
Sidey: Yeah, exactly. But they go out, they go to the, the swing night of the der. And Mike, Spotts another lady and it's Heather Graham in fucking hour. She was gray. Oh, she really is a knockout.
Dan: just, yeah, she's faultless and a across the bar. Mike becomes the, the tiger that he so often isn't, but he, he walks around anyway and he kind of loses his bottle a little bit and he, he awkwardly hovers on her shoulder for a little bit longer than is comfortable, but.
They, they kind of hit it off. Well,
Sidey: he, he hasn't had the usual pep talk and all the bullshit bravado stuff from Trent about this is how you do it. You're a bear and you gotta do this and you gotta do that. He uses the line, cuz she's called Lorraine. And he says like the Kish and she's like, oh, never heard that before.
And you think, oh, he's fucked.
Dan: He's fucked. No, but I like Kish. I like Kish.
Sidey: And then the conversation plays out, you know, exactly like the opening conversation that he had with Rob about, you know, you'll meet a girl and you'll, you'll actually really forget about your ex and then blah, blah, blah. And so they do connect and he does, you know, they do have this genuine, like real, no bullshit, bravado, like masculinity
Dan: to like him
Sidey: likes C.
He likes her, they connect and
Dan: and he, yeah, he, and this is all sort of the first night. And he, he walks into her car and says, you know, I'd like to, I'd like,
Get your, your number. I wouldn't want to just leave it to I'll see you around. And so they swap each other numbers and then he goes back and I think he pins up because he doesn't wanna blow this.
So he pins up her number. Yeah, two days down the line. It's the next day. Yeah. And the phone rings
Dan: and it's
Sidey: it's Michelle The X
Dan: It's the X after all this time, you can't believe
Sidey: he's forgotten about her. He
Dan: And she's basically come back to him. She wants, you know, to meet up. It's a bit of a mistake. She can't believe it.
She doesn't wanna talk about Pierre the X and he's after six months, he, you know, a month ago, this is all he ever wanted this phone call, but then another call comes through and he just wants to get rid of. And it's our lovely Heather Graham
Sidey: Yeah. It's rain. And she says, oh, you know, I dunno about this thing about waiting for two days or, you know, and she, all the stuff that he was worried about is the same stuff that she's worried about, you know?
And they they just, I imagine they just live happily ever
Dan: Well, then he gets rid of Michelle. He goes, oh, I'll have to call you back. And she's, but I love you. And then he just kind of, phone's gone. And he said, oh, I really wanted to talk to you. Thanks her. And. Then kind of resolves itself, this this story of, of his emotions and moving on and, and getting through that.
And as you say, you hope they live happily ever after, but it's just a cool film. The soundtracks buzzing the, the clothes, the style, the interaction between the characters you can tell they get on their,
Sidey: their, yeah. The performances are like absolutely knockout. There's a scene. I think it's in the bar wheres, given the bear.
Pep talk and they play the jaws a little bit of jaws. Yeah. So they went, they went to Spielberg and said, well, you know, is it, can we use this? And he said, well, they have to show me a bit of the movie. So they did. And he was like, fucking, oh yes, you can use it. And then he cast Vince, Ron straight away for Jurassic world Jurassic park, too
Yeah. He was so impressed. Like this is amazing. So yeah,
Dan: which is huge
Sidey: He probably knows what he's talking about.
Dan: swingers of 200 grand to Jurassic world with Spielberg, I mean, that's. That's
Sidey: yeah, like you said, the budget was 200 grand, obviously this is a win. What do you reckon it took any ballpark kind
Dan: I would say I'd say sort like 20 million, but it probably nowhere near that.
Sidey: it's not but it's still decent. It's four and a half mil. Yeah. And then like probably a lot of DVD and video sales and stuff, cuz it was probably a bit of a sleeper hit as well. Which makes me feel good that, you know, a film like
Dan: well, it never got a, a cinema release, I guess, did it,
Sidey: oh, I'm sure it would've had a few, probably a few screenings, like especially coming from that part of the world. There was just other stuff that went on when they were leaving Vegas. You know, there's a scene in the car where Vince Vaughn's taking a leak outside the car and they haven't giving him another pep talk about, you know, we need to get back and, you know, move on to the next fishing
Dan: right? Yeah. Yeah. Just on the
Sidey: that, that highway, so you need a, you need a permit apparently to film by the sideway, but that particular one, you would never get a permit. It's just like forbidden. I dunno, it's too busy or whatever. So the, the cops came a bunch of.
And they tried to fo 'em off saying, oh yeah, the permits just down the road to the office.
So we were go and get it. So eventually some police just stayed and they, but they filmed it while the police were there. Just like, you know, press record on the camera. And no one was sort of looking at the shots and they had to act it out while with basically no direction, all that. And while the police are there thinking that nothing's going on.
Oh, love all that. I think that's really cool. Yeah.
Dan: Well, it, I mean, it's, it's not student film, but it's, it's a young filmmaker's film. It's somebody who, you know, you had Ben Affleck and Matt Damon did it with Goodwill hunting, and it's almost like these talents need a way to express themselves, put themselves, give themselves a great part,
These young lads, as you see them here in this film and they are they put this together and made a great film. It's definitely one. I recommend seen it 3, 4, 5 times. And I'll definitely watch it again at some point.
Sidey: Yeah. I looked at the metrics and they're disappointingly low 7.2 in IMDB, and then some other stuff, it should be 10 and a hundred, like for every other rating.
It's just so good.
Dan: a solid film for
Sidey: I say, it's, it's like a lads film, but it's not like one of those you know, like boobs and beer and all that sort of real blurriness. It's just, it's a very relatable, just like people going out with friends and connecting with
Dan: you know suffering from mental health issues.
He's, he's depressed. He's got his friends who are rallying around him best way they know how to, to try to perk him up. And it's about love and loss and, and finding somebody. So there's all these. Kind of real themes and undercurrents within just a, a sharp written show that delivers lots of laughs and style
Dan: and the car is a
Sidey: It's a 1964 convertible mercury comment Calle.
Dan: Wow. Love
Sidey: one of those. Yeah. So yeah, highly, highly recommended