Trent's trawl for babes in the singles bars and back street swing joints of East Hollywood resembles a fishing trip. He takes his pals; they drink beer; they laugh a lot and stagger home with nothing.

Swingers is not Trent's story, it's Mike's. They are all struggling actors, waiting for that break, that job, any job. They talk of doing Goofy at Disneyland ("I don't have enough theme park experience"), or a shampoo ad at best. They hang out together and play video ice hockey as recreation and wait for the phone to ring.

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Mike calls himself a comedian, despite being permanently depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend six years ago and is far too self-absorbed to handle another relationship. Since moving from New York to LA he's found an agent, who specialises in magicians, and has played a bus driver in a movie and runs an open mic once a week at a club.

Jon Favreau (Mike) wrote the script for himself and his friends. It is largely autobiographical. Trent (Vince Vaughn) is a charmer, a talker, a half good-looking guy with a certain transparent guile. Mike is shy and self-deprecating. He tells the truth too often for his own good. He knows girls won't like him even before he meets them and when he finds one that does, blows it by coming on too strong.

Trent is determined to get Mike laid so that he'll shut up about the girl who dumped him all those years ago. They go to Las Vegas and make a sad attempt at looking like high rollers.

The film is in the tradition of Big Night and The Brothers McMullen, actor/writers working on small budgets within areas of their own expertise. It is also about friendship, the fear of failure and what guys do together when they have nothing to do. They use language that is so slanged out, it's white rap, and have a 3am diner mentality.

Anything is possible. Except Mike doesn't believe it any more. He looks at himself in the mirror and sees a contagious disease.

Why is this so funny? Because it's true.

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2005
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Hanging out with unemployed actors in East Hollywood.
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Director: Doug Liman

Writer: Jon Favreau

Starring: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, Patrick Van Horn, Alex Desert, Heather Graham, Deena Martin

Year: 1996

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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