Swingers

Director-cinematographer Doug Liman gets points for breathing a bit of life into an already tired indie sub genre. Liman sets his all-guy gabfest against L.A.'s very trendy nouveaux lounge scene, where Vegas is Mecca and Ol' Blue Eyes is king. Jon Favreau stars as Mike, an aspiring stand-up comic who leaves his native Brooklyn after his girlfriend of six...read more

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Director-cinematographer Doug Liman gets points for breathing a bit of life into an already tired indie sub genre. Liman sets his all-guy gabfest against L.A.'s very trendy nouveaux lounge scene, where Vegas is Mecca and Ol' Blue Eyes is king. Jon Favreau stars as

Mike, an aspiring stand-up comic who leaves his native Brooklyn after his girlfriend of six years dumps him for another guy. After six months in Los Angeles, Mike is still pining for his ex, while Sinatra-wannabe Trent (Vince Vaughn) -- his womanizing best friend -- tries desperately to pull him

out of his funk. The Rat Pack worship is amusing, though the OCEAN'S ELEVEN argot quickly wears thin, and regular forays into such kitsch L.A. cocktail lounges as the Derby and the Dresden Room help separate this comedy from its more mundane brethren: BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, THE LOW LIFE, et al. But this

kind of nostalgia often conceals an ugly reactionary edge, and here the genial humor is occasionally marred by an overall sexist tone and some downright nasty homophobic and racist attempts at humor. Ah, the good old days.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS
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