- Director:Doug Liman
- Writer:Jon Favreau
- Cast:Vince Vaughn,Heather Graham,Jon Favreau
- Time:1h 36min
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Patrick Van Horn||-||Sue|
|Alex Désert||-||Charles (as Alex Desert)|
|Blake Lindsley||-||Girl with Cigar|
|Kevin James Kelly||-||Vegas Dealer|
|Stephanie Ittleson||-||Vegas Waitress|
|Vernon Vaughn||-||$100 Gambler|
|Joan Favreau||-||$5 Winner|
The movie is loosely based on the experiences writer Jon Favreau had when he first moved to Los Angeles. He had just broken up with a long term girlfriend and counted on his friends Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston to cheer him up. The characters they play in the film are based on themselves.
When asked to approve use of the theme music for Jaws (1975) in a scene, Steven Spielberg saw footage of Vince Vaughn and then hired him for The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
The "Bear" monologue that Trent (Vince Vaughn) delivers to Mike (Jon Favreau) is almost verbatim something Vince told Jon one night at a bar. Favreau liked it a lot and incorporated it into the script.
The scene with Mike and Trent talking in the car on the side of the road was also filmed without a permit (not only could the production not afford one, it is actually impossible for any film production to acquire one to film on that particular highway). Originally, they had planned to film just an establishing shot of the two of them in the car, and a shot of them driving away, and then film the dialogue shots later. But Director Doug Liman decided instead to film the entire scene on the side of the road. During filming, several police showed up, and demanded to see a permit. The Assistant Director held up the police by telling them that they had a permit, but it was in the office across town, several miles away. To get away with the rest of the scene being filmed, Liman had to pretend he was not filming, and didn't look in the viewfinder, and used a microphone inside of the car instead of a boom. Most of the scene was filmed like this, with the police waiting just out of shot, and the two actors and the director pretending they were in fact not shooting.
The exterior and interior of Mike Peters' (Jon Favreau's) apartment was the actual building and room in which Jon lived at the time this movie was filmed. Favreau's downstairs neighbor was actor Adam Scott.
When Director Doug Liman first sent the script to studios, they were interested in financing it. When Liman said he wanted to cast the writer and his friends as actors, the studios backed off. The money to shoot the film was raised independently and Liman cast who he liked.
Some of the bar scenes were shot in actual bars during business hours. A sign was posted near where they were shooting warning patrons that if they came any closer, they would be unpaid extras in the film.
The relationship between the characters played by Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn mirrors their one in real-life. The two are best friends.
The scene in which Trent (Vince Vaughn) angrily yells at Sue (Patrick Van Horn), after Sue insulted Mike (Jon Favreau), was written specifically at Vince's request. Vaughn wanted to show that beneath Trent's bravado and swagger, he truly cared for Mike as a friend.
Since the filmmakers couldn't afford to pay extras, the scenes filmed at parties were filmed at actual parties that were taking place, with many Hollywood up-and-comers in attendance. Among the people in the crowd of the first party (who turn and look at the group as they enter): Screenwriters Stephen Gaghan and Mike White.
The 1964 Convertible Mercury Comet Caliente driven by Vince Vaughn was owned by Jon Favreau.
When the main characters are first seen playing video games in Trent's apartment, Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Taxi Driver (1976) posters can be seen on the walls. Later, Trent and Mike argue about Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, and whether Tarantino copies or pays homage to Scorsese's work. The next scene is a deliberate tribute to Reservoir Dogs' iconic opening scene of the main characters walking in slow motion. Later, the famous Goodfellas (1990) long shot of Henry and Karen walking through the kitchen and into the club is emulated by Trent and Mike.
According to Jon Favreau, the reason Mike opens his empty fridge is because Doug Liman said that the scene was too dark and they needed the light.
The crew shot at the Derby with actual customers as unpaid extras. It was awkward for Jon Favreau, who admitted that he had probably (unsuccessfully) hit on some of the women who were being filmed. He also had to tell a man who sat down next to Heather Graham to leave so that the Mike/Lorraine meet cute could be shot.
Jon Favreau wrote the screenplay in two weeks, with various friends in mind for key roles.
The line "You're so money came from a Spike Lee/Michael Jordan commercial. The director kept calling the basketball player "money" in the Nike advertisements. Jon Favreau saw those commercials, but the first time he ever heard someone describe something as "money" in real-life, was when Vince Vaughn said it on the set of Rudy. Potential investors and studios wanted to get rid of the "money"s, "honey"s, and "baby"s.
The Reservoir Dogs (1992) scene was shot at two in the morning in an alley behind a 7-Eleven, in just three takes.
The shots taken from the hood of the car in Las Vegas were done without a proper permit. The interior of the casino was not the Stardust as the exterior shots imply, but was instead a downtown casino that they paid money to use for the evening.
The scene where Mike talks to his answering machine was supposed to be a running joke throughout the movie. But all of the other scenes got cut in editing.
Due to a lack of money, Doug Liman shot the film on an Aaton 35, a "small documentary-style 35mm camera" that "sounds like a sewing machine." He wrapped a down jacket around the camera, then wrapped a down comforter around the jacket so that it wouldn't make so much noise. Favreau said it was as if he was acting in front of a giant snowball.
Trent, Mikey, Sue, Rob, and Charles represent the five members of the original Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Friends of the crew lived in the Hollywood Hills on Temple Hill Drive. Two of the four residents, Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, produced the Twilight movies. Also in attendance were actors Mike White and Adam Scott, Jon Favreau's downstairs neighbor at the time. Scott had no idea what all the cameras were for.
Jon Favreau and his friends gave reader's theater performances of the script to drum up interest in and capital for the movie.
Jon Favreau learned how to swing dance for the movie. For a month, he and Heather Graham rehearsed at her house, and at the Derby.
The release of the film coincided with the swing revival of the 1990s. It increased interest in 1940s culture, Hollywood nightlife, and swing music. Some of the slang used in the film became popular in the years following its release, especially the use of the word "money" as a catch-all term of approval or quality. The exclamation "Vegas, baby!" also became a common quote when referencing the city. The film also gave exposure to the term "Wingman" in its social interaction context.
The answering machine scene was inspired by a comedy routine by Jeff Garlin.
A bar scene involving a live rabbit at the Derby had to be cut, due to outrage from the establishment.
The word "fuck" is used 95 times, "bitch" is used 31 times, and "asshole" 13 times.
Among the many studio notes that Jon Favreau received from potential bidders were to nix the Vegas scenes, change Trent into a woman, have Trent played by Johnny Depp, and/or to cast Chris O'Donnell or Jason Priestley.
Director Doug Liman felt that the answering machine scene contained too many messages. Jon Favreau was confident that it was the right number of messages-though he admitted, "The crew was not very entertained by it."
Released in the U.S. the day before Jon Favreau's 30th birthday.
The scene when the guys walk past the line to get into a bar is resembling the steadicam shot in Goodfellas (1990) when Henry Hill and his wife walk into the restaurant. As a matter of fact, they talk about the movie Goodfellas (1990) and this actual shot early in the movie.
In the bar scene, Rob (Ron Livingston) and Mike (Jon Favreau) order a Dewar's on the rocks and a Budweiser . In Sea of Love (1989), Al Pacino and John Goodman's characters ordered the same drinks.
The diner scene at the beginning of the movie was at the Best Western Hotel at 6141 Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.
The scene where the guys are hanging out in Sue's apartment playing video hockey- the game is EA Sports NHL '94 for Sega Genesis.
Trent's license plate THX 1138 is the same as THX 1138 (1971).
One scene, in which Trent yells at Sue for insulting Mike, was written at Vince Vaughn's request to make it clear that beneath Trent's swagger, he truly cared for Mike as a friend.
A Reservoir Dogs (1992) poster can also be seen in one of the scenes.
Charles (Alex Désert) says he didn't get a part on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). He'd later work with one of its cast members, Terry Farrell on Becker (1998).
Vernon Vaughn: Vince Vaughn's father plays the lucky gambler at the one hundred dollar minimum blackjack table.
Joan Favreau: Jon Favreau's grandmother is the lucky gambler at the five dollar minimum blackjack table.
Nicole LaLoggia: The film's Line Producer plays two roles. She plays Michelle's voice on the phone, and she appears as one of the bar patrons at the Derby (the brunette sitting to the right of Trent when Mike leaves the table).
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: The retro swing band in the climactic club dance.