Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swingers (1996)

I hated Swingers. Four guys - none of whom have lives - sit around bitching about girls and being pathetic. And there's some vague indication that it's supposed to be funny, or witty or something other than boring. This may make me sound lame (and I really can't deny that I am) but it was like if someone tried to make a movie about my life right now. Why would anyone do that? Why would anyone want to watch it if they did? There's nothing going on. NOTHING. I don't have a job, my friends don't have jobs, none of us have boyfriends, none of us have money (although - in Swingers they have enough money to party fairly regularly despite their unemployment, lucky them).

I got the argument from a dude friend of mine that this movie is for guys. I don't buy it. I know guys. If they were as pathetic (or annoying - my God was Vince Vaughn annoying) as the characters in Swingers, I wouldn't want to know them anymore(and neither would anyone else, including other guys).

Even if I was willing to accept that this movie says something different to guys that those of us with different genitalia just couldn't possibly understand, a movie should not be for only half the population. If it is, it's failing somehow. And I'd be willing to make this exact point in reference to a zillion different "romance" movies including everything connected with Nicholas Sparks.

This same dude friend of mine also complimented the script of Swingers for being tight (as us hep cats say) i.e. each scene is about the central story of the script. Perhaps in most cases being a tight script is a good thing. As far as Swingers goes, you know what "tight" equaled in my estimation? Redundancy and boredom. Contrary to dude friend's belief, I don't think it's difficult to string fifty scenes together all about the same thing. The difficulty is making each scene different from the last; escalating things somehow or at least examining them in a unique way. Swingers doesn't manage escalation. Not really. The steps are so tiny, they're hardly steps at all. Oh yay! He has the balls to talk to a girl. I can totally see why that's a big step. Except wait, no I can't.

As far as I'm concerned, the scope of Swingers is too small. A fair few on IMDb claim there is no plot. This isn't true - there was a plot. Protag is trying to get over his ex and pretty much the whole film is about that central question - will he or won't he? SPOILER ALERT: He does. Unfortunately, I couldn't care less if this loser of a guy gets over his old girlfriend. I have absolutely no reason to care (and I don't see why "guys" would care either). Just because he complains a lot doesn't mean there is conflict. Just because Vince Vaughn says everything is money doesn't make his character funny.

I don't think I'd be so grr about this movie if I hadn't been given such a strong impression that it was good. I don't see it. I don't see good. Or well written. Or charming, or funny, or interesting, or anything other than boring boring boring.

P.S. I love Ron Livingston.

P.P.S Don't google images for Swingers. You'll get the other kind of Swingers.

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