A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film contains a lot of very strong language, which the main characters use freely. Mike and Trent spend a lot of the film discussing women in unflattering ways. Although there are no scenes of nudity, but ther'is a scene where Mike interrupts Trent and a woman during sex. Much of the film takes place in bars, and the main characters drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, and gamble. There]s also a scene of potential violence where a gun is drawn during a fight but not fired.
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What's the story?
Ripped from a moment in the 90's when hipsters embraced a neo-Ratpack aesthetic, Trent (Vince Vaughn) and Mike (Jon Favreau) are two hip young guys in LA who swig martinis and dance to "swing" bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Mike's girlfriend broke up with him after he left her in New York to try and make it as a comedian in LA. Trent is desperately trying to get Mike back into the dating scene, dishing out dubious advice while dragging him from club to club. What's more, Trent's sleazy style seems to really work for him; the more condescending and manipulative he is, the better he does with women. To Trent's horror, Mike constantly rehashes the tragedy of his break-up to every girl. We follow the pair from a big trip out to Las Vegas and on through bars and clubs, Mike repeatedly trying, and failing, to pick up a girl. Along the way, we meet their other friends, including Rob (Ron Livingston), a struggling actor with a major creative crisis, Charles, too hip for the scene, and Sue, a twitchy guy with some violent tendencies.
Is it any good?
A modern comedy of manners and cool, SWINGERS will entertain and embarrass teenagers and their parents. Teenagers will probably (hopefully!) find the 10-years-ago swing revival aesthetic too square for words, while parents may find themselves reflecting back on their own youthful excesses. But charming, funny performances by the cast, especially Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston, will make it worth the pain.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different ways the main characters deal with women and one another. What is the cost of Trent's predatory, manipulative behavior? Why does he lose his cool in the diner at the end of the movie? The film looks at both positive and negative aspects of peer pressure -- in the scene where Sue pulls out a gun, his friends make it crystal clear what a major violation of cool he's committed. How does this contrast with their other behavior?
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