Swingers - Rated: SIMMERING

It has taken me a while to catch up with this film, but I'm glad I did. Friends had been telling me that I'd really like it (now that I've seen it, that makes me a bit nervous). And I did.

It is a stylish little film , with a good ensemble cast, quite a witty script, and lots of hip and not-so-hip detail. It is set in Los Angeles and Las Vegas (two of my favourite cities - perverse person that I am). And incidentally, have you noticed how many films these days are shot in whole or in part in Las Vegas? Leaving Las Vegas and Honeymoon in Las Vegas of course, but also Con Air, Mars Attacks, Austin Powers, etc etc. They just need that "tack" factor, and so does Swingers.

Swingers has a good heart, and a nice self-awareness that doesn't ever go overboard, even in the scenes aping Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas, and Saturday Night Fever. The film, and even the characters themselves, seem aware how preposterous their posing is, and how vulnerable these tough guys really are. Nice to see buddies looking after the emotional problems of a mate, too.

Director Doug Liman has a sure hand and knows his subject. He has the benefit of a script written by the star, Jon Favreau, from life. Chasing Amy is a much better film on a similar topic, but Swingers has something to offer too, especially on behalf of those who are under- (or over-) confident and underemployed.