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Swingers Review

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Mike has recently re-located to Hollywood and his difficulties trying to find his way in the tough town, coupled with a break-up he just can't seem to get over, has prompted his couch-potato mates to leave their coaches and potatoes behind for one special mission - to get Mike laid.

★★★★

Just like Clerks, Swingers is a rough diamond where the occasional touch of poor lighting or shaky camera work genuinely adds to the charm. What carries it furthest, however, from a budget sheet not far above a decent wedding video to the realms of box office kerching!-dom is a script delivered like manna from the god of guffaws up in comedy heaven.

Said script was written by former stand-up comedian Favreau who also co-produced and stars as Mike, recently relocated to Hollywood from New York and trying forlornly to get work as a comic and get over a relationship that ended six months ago. It's hard to tell which he's making a bigger hash of, but as all his mates are struggling similarly to be actors, they all switch their focus to cheering him up by, er, trying to get him laid.

First to try is Trent (Vaughn, who could talk the dinos in The Lost World into submission using half his lines from Swingers) on a road-trip to Vegas that exposes both of them as something less than highrollers, and Mike as an all but lost cause in the love life department. And so the action returns to Hollywood where "swinger" friends Rob (Livingston), a boy named Sue (Van Horn) and Charles (Alex Desert) cruise the clubs and bars telling each other - in Trent's words - that they "are so money" and trying it on with all the "beautiful babies" they meet.

Given a budget that had stretched to big stars, designer suits and feng-shui'd apartments, this might have been a very different movie. But with a cast that consists of mainly sitcom actors as pizza-eating, beer-drinking Ordinary Joes who play video hockey and drive "piece of shit" cars, first-time feature director Liman has made a film as charming as it is hilarious. Add to that an answerphone sketch to die for, brilliant pastiches of both Reservoir Dogs and GoodFellas plus the worst version of Staying Alive known to man and Swingers emerges as an unmissable Men Behaving Sadly for wannabe lovers everywhere.

The script is delivered like manna from the god of guffaws up in comedy heaven, and the tight budget and sit-com actors who carry out said delivery only make it taste sweeter.