(Air Date: Week Of 10/30/96)
So I sat down and listed maybe five reasons to see Swingers, where Jon Favreau, the twenty-nine year old who wrote the screenplay, plays Mike, a character sort of like himself -- an aspiring comedian in L. A., traumatized over losing his girlfriend, who hangs out with his aspiring actor buds, who are looking for roles in TV pilots.
Reason One: Language. You get exposure to the latest and greatest lingo from L.A. Example: Baby -- you're money, you're really money. Now go get that baby's digits. This replaces the now archiac Man, you're a totally cool dude. Go ask that chick for her phone number. Note how girls are now babies instead of babes -- in fact, guys are babies, too, and how money, the adjective, means, you know, really cool, if I can be so retro.
Reason Two: Night Life. These L. A. bars, where performers dressed like the Blues Brothers imitate Frank Sinatra, are so exclusive, you can hardly find them. They're on obscure, dark streets, with no signs. Our guys will go to a bar after deciding a party's really dead, but then leave the bar to go to a party after deciding the bar's really dead. And the next time you're in L.A., and run into a what seems to be a spooky street gang out of Pulp Fiction, you'll know they're really just out of work actors imitating Tarantino, who, of course, imitated Scorcese, which every one knows.
Reason Three: Philosophical. You get to hear our guys debating life's deepest questions, such as how many days you should wait before calling a baby after getting her digits at a party or bar.
Reason Four: Psychological Insights for Women. While hanging out in clubs, and playing computer games, the guys have open discussions that cut to the heart of men's romantic nature. The down side is that, having been enlightened, many women will never want to date again.
Reason Five, and the most important: Artistic. No matter how trivial, or irrelevant to anything beyond itself a film may be, if it's conceived by a savvy writer who's creating from inside the material, it's gonna have a spark of authenticity. Favreau put a piece of himself in Swingers, and sort of spoofs his own kind, and some of it clicks on a tinkertoy scale. Now you have to decide whether the five reasons to see Swingers add up to a compelling urge to fork out, you know, real money.
Copyright 1996 Mary Weems
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