We’re going to Vegas baby, Vegas! OK, so maybe a trip to the strip is still a way off, but we can always head there on today’s Lockdown Rewatch of Doug Liman’s 1996 comedy classic, Swingers.
The story of a struggling actor who has just moved to LA and his friends’ efforts to help him get over a recent breakup (they were together six years!) and back on the dating scene, the film stars Jon Favreau – known now for his work directing big hits such as Iron Man, The Lion King, and creating Disney+ hit The Mandalorian – and Vince Vaughn – known for nearly all of your favourite and not-so-favourite comedies. Funny, soulful, and extremely 1990’s, Swingers was independently produced on a modest budget (cast and crew were mostly friends of Favreau), and was picked up for distribution by Miramax (it was the 1990’s, so of course it was). It was a critical and commercial hit, and elevated Vaughn, Favreau, and Liman’s careers to new heights – they were so money and they didn’t even know it.
But did you know…
1) A gifted piece of software and an inquisitive mind brought the film to life, according to Favreau , “When I set out to write Swingers, I didn’t know I was even writing a movie. My dad had given me a screenwriting program and I started the script just as an exercise to see if I could write a screenplay. Swingers is what came out.” It was the first screenplay he had written.
2) The low budget film managed to snag the expensive music rights to Jaws due to Liman being family friends with Stephen Spielberg – Liman just had to send a version of the scene to the famed director for clearance. Maybe it really is who you know? Spielberg later cast Vaughn, who featured in the scene, in his Jurassic Park sequel, “I knew nothing of Vince until I saw Swingers, that made me interested in meeting him for Lost World.”
3) The car Trent (Vaughn) drives in the film, a convertible Mercury Comet, was actually owned by Favreau. In a nod to George Lucas the licence plate reads THX1138.