The least bad one; or how I decided on a movie to review

Elliot Adams

More stories from Elliot Adams

The Tator
May 9, 2023

“Swingers” is a surprisingly good movie.

The hunt to write a column on a movie was a tough one. I could’ve picked a movie near and dear to my heart, or I could pick a movie to watch this weekend and then hopefully fall in love with it and review it. 

After three different movies and still not being able to find the perfect one to write about, I was finally able to find something. 

The first thing I watched was “Goodfellas” on Friday. I’d seen it like three times already and while great, it’s probably been written about hundreds of times. Next was “Drive” with Ryan Gosling; I’d been meaning to watch it for a while but I was fairly underwhelmed so it was on to the next. 

Finally, as a last-ditch effort, I put on “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” — it wasn’t even funny in a bad way. 

Sunday morning rolled around and I finally found it — I stumbled upon “Swingers” with Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Ron Livingston. I’m not going to lie, I was very skeptical it would be a good movie. 

The first thing I am proud to announce is — despite the title — the movie has nothing to do with swingers. Instead, it is about a young struggling comedian in Los Angeles trying to get over his ex-girlfriend with the help of his friends. 

The young comedian is played by Favreau, his sleazy constantly going out friend is played by Vaughn and, the voice of relative reason, friend is played by Livingston. 

The movie was released in 1996 so the outfits are full of oversized T-shirts, dark-toned button-ups with wife beaters and dress shoes. The Los Angeles we get treated to is full of jazz lounges and crusty apartments. 

The plot is essentially the Favreau character going out with the Vaughn character every night, then being bullied for not moving on from his ex. The Livingston character serves as a nice emotional support friend to contrast the Vaughn character.

The writing is okay, the cinematography is good and the acting is great. An okay, a good and a great make it enjoyable enough for me. Plus, the setting is great and I really appreciate the three leading actors. 

It wasn’t a great movie but it was good enough. All in all, I’d rate it a fun movie to watch late at night with friends. I’d even go as far to say that it’s worth recommending to friends. It’s certainly not bad or mediocre but it’s good enough. 

“Swingers” is a feel-good comedy for anyone who’s gone through a breakup after a long-term relationship and still not been able to get over it months later. 

The comedy works because it’s relatable; the godawful advice from well-meaning friends, the staring at an empty apartment after an unsatisfying night out and just the complete lack of confidence and awkwardness that follows not being single in a very long time. 

I hope that last bit was relatable for people other than me. Either way, it’s a solid movie and if you don’t want to watch it for any of the reasons I outlined above, at least watch it for young Livingston, Favreau and Vaughn. 

Seeing young Favreau in this film was the same experience as seeing young Alec Baldwin in “Beetlejuice.” So to get to the point, the movie is worth a watch. 

Adams can be reached at [email protected].