Swinger [1966]

For anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the Los Angeles "lounge" scene that was in vogue during the early and mid-1990s, here's the movie that virtually defined that brief but colorful nightlife milieu. As an added bonus, it just happens to be a very funny, observant story about love, loss, and male bonding among a group of friends who struggle to find decent jobs by day, and lurk through Hollywood's hottest nightclubs by night. A sort of latter-day Rat Pack, they include Mike (writer-actor Jon Favreau) and his closest buddy, Trent (Vince Vaughn), who are waiting for the big show-biz break that seems to be eluding them. Mike's twisted up about the girlfriend he left back East to pursue his going-nowhere standup comedy career, and Trent uses the word "money" as an adjective ("Man, we look totally money tonight") with such frequency that you may find yourself slipping into lounge-lizard mode after watching the movie. One of the most noteworthy indie-film success stories of the '90s, this time-capsule comedy seized its moment in the spotlight, launched several promising careers, and continues to maintain its lasting appeal. --Jeff Shannon

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