Oct/2017

Favorite Movie Scene of the Day #15!

by Gumbercules9000 on Jul 19th, 2017

Hi everyone, Bryan here….

Every time I watch this scene, I find myself wincing, shrinking in my seat and covering my eyes, as if I’m watching it for the first time. I hate to say it, but I think we’ve all been here before. Maybe not as drastic as this, but some form of this – – we’ve all done it. This might be the most awkward and painful scene to watch in movie history, which is weird because it’s just one still shot of someone calling another person on the phone.

The answering machine scene from Swingers is one of my favorite scenes for multiple reasons. It’s a simple camera set up, but there’s so much going on here underneath the surface. We see our protagonist Mike (Jon Favreau) just completely implode in a matter of a couple of minutes, and sinks even further down into his depression. The night started off good for Mike here, but things didn’t turn out in his favor, all due to his confidence and self-pity. Swingers was made by Doug Liman and Jon Favreau and was based off of Favreau’s life when he moved out to Los Angeles.

The actors in the film, including Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston were his actual friends, where their characters were based off their real-life personas. The film came out in 1996. This was before social media, smart phones, texting, and other various forms of communication that we take for granted now. In fact, the only way to get ahold of someone was to call them on a landline. If they didn’t answer, you better hope they had an actual answering machine that you can play messages back. This did not help Mike in Swingers by any means.

After Mike had a successful night out after his bad break up with his long time girlfriend, he gets a nice, beautiful woman’s number. His friends try and tell him to play it cool and not call her for a day or two. That same night, when it’s too late to call, Mike has a moment of weakness. Well, it’s more like a psychotic fucking breakdown, where he calls the girl he just met to leave a sweet, innocent message to say he had a great time. This turns into a hardcore disaster of epic proportions, which I still get high anxiety upon watching each time.

Mike ends up calling her back many times and leaving message after message, which just nose dives into the ground quickly. It’s such a brilliant, awkward, funny, horrifying scene. I love this scene so much, because it has everything. I could only hope that Jon Favreau will have Iron Man do a similar scene in a future Avengers movie.

 

CLICK HERE FOR DAY #14!

52   INT.  MIKE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT                        52

        Mike opens the door and flicks on the lights in his sparsely
        furnished single.

        He drops his keys on the table and makes a bee line to the
        answering machine.

        He pushes the button.

                             ANSWERING MACHINE
                        (synthesized voice)
                   She didn't call.

        Mike collapses into his futon and lights a smoke.

        Beat.

        He pulls out the COCKTAIL NAPKIN.  He stares at the number.

        He looks at the clock.  2:20 AM.

        He looks at the napkin.

        He thinks better of it, and puts the napkin away.

        Beat.

        He takes out the napkin and picks up the phone.

                             ANSWERING MACHINE
                        (synthesized voice)
                   Don't do it, Mike.

                             MIKE
                   Shut up.

        He dials.

        It rings twice, then...

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki.  Leave a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   Hi, Nikki.  This is Mike.  I met you
                   tonight at the Dresden.  I, uh, just
                   called to say I, uh, I'm really glad we
                   met and you should give me a call.  So
                   call me tomorrow, or , like, in two days,
                   whatever.  My number is 213-555-4679...
                        (beep)

        Mike hangs up.

        Beat.

        He dials again.

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki.  Leave a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   Hi, Nikki.  This is Mike, again.  I just
                   called because it sounded like your
                   machine might've cut me off before I gave
                   you my number, and also to say sorry for
                   calling so late, but you were still there
                   when I left the Dresden, so I knew I'd
                   get your machine.  Anyway, my number
                   is...
                        (beep)

        Mike calls back right away.

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki.  Leave a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   213-555-4679.  That's all.  I just wanted
                   to leave my number.  I don't want you to
                   think I'm weird, or desperate or
                   something...
                        (he regrets saying it
                        immediately)
                   ... I mean, you know, we should just
                   hang out.  That's it.  No expectations.
                   Just, you know,  hang out.  Bye.
                        (beep)

        He hangs up.

        Beat.

        He dials.

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki. Leaves a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   I just got out of a six-year
                   relationship.  Okay?  That should help to
                   explain why I'm acting so weird.  It's
                   not you.  It's me.  I just wanted to say
                   that.  Sorry.
                        (pause)
                   This is Mike.
                        (beep)

        He dials again.  There's no turning back.

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki.  Leave a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   Hi, Nikki.  This is Mike again. Could you
                   just call me when you get in?  I'll be up
                   for awhile, and I'd just rather talk to
                   you in person instead of trying to
                   squeeze it all...
                        (beep)

        He dials yet again.

                             NIKKI
                        (recorded)
                   Hi.  This is Nikki.  Leave a message.
                        (beep)

                             MIKE
                   Hi, Nikki.  Mike.  I don't think this is
                   working out.  I think you're great, but
                   maybe we should just take some time off
                   from each other.  It's not you, really.
                   It's me.  It's only been six months...

                             NIKKI
                        (Live, in person.  she picks
                        up the line)
                   Mike?

                             MIKE
                   Nikki!  Great!  Did you just walk in, or
                   were you listening all along?

                             NIKKI
                        (calmly)
                   Don't call me ever again.

                             MIKE
                   Wow, I guess you were home...
                        (click)

        She hung up on him.

        He's frozen.

        He hangs up.

        Beat.

        He pulls the comforter off the futon and curls up in the
        corner of the room.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook





Leave a Reply




Sign Up for Newsletter

ADVERTISEMENT

Movie Quotes

Bruce Wayne:
You look tired, Alfred. You'll be all right without me?
Alfred Pennyworth:
[looking at all the sunbathing women] You can tell me the Russian for, "apply your own bloody suntan lotion."
The Dark Knight (2008) The Movie Quotes

Boomstick Tags