This is an honest exploration of male friendship based on lead actor Jon Favreau’s autobiographical script about his first years in Hollywood.
Aspiring comedian Mike (Favreau) and three fellow out-of-work actors bar hop around LA’s hip watering holes, bitch nonstop, continually try to pick up women and wait endlessly by the phone for that all-important call.
Mike’s fast-talking buddy Trent (Vince Vaughn) persuades him to travel out to Las Vegas with him for some gambling and womanising. It’s clear Mike and Trent are out of their league, starting on too high stakes and ending up making five-dollar bets at a lesser table.
Instead of leaving with moneyed young ladies, they end up heading back to a trailer park at six o’clock in the morning with a waitress and a Dorothy from a Wizard of Oz-themed event.
Mike is such a wet blanket that he sucks all the good-natured atmosphere out of any situation. He’s supposed to be a comedian but his oneliners just die mere moments after they’re spoken.
Complete with discussions on the various merits of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, with affectionate direction by Doug Liman to match those two masters, this independent labour of love carries the solid ring of truth.
Patrick Van Horn