“You don’t worry about being liked. You have to be yourself.”
Vince Vaughn is synonymous with improv comedy, deadpan expressions and erratic and idiosyncratic characters who make the audience’s backs ache with laughter. Although Vaughn was born in 1970 in Minneapolis to an affluent family, he did not have it quite easy in his lie. Full of strife and struggle, his career, which mostly included commercials initially, took its flight after he appeared alongside Jon Favreau in Swingers; Favreau would later go on to be a frequent collaborator of his. Vaughn has always credited his career to his mother who made him believe that hard work could help him succeed at absolutely anything.
Vaughn has always been a pioneer in comedy films, but his performances have never been devoid of self-doubt. He has a very practical approach to his job. “My approach as an actor has always been the same, in that the greatest gift that you’re ever going to have is your imagination because you’re not going to have all life experiences”, he said, “so you draw on things that are sort of close to it but you spend your time expanding on it or drawing something specific on whatever your situation is.”
Although his films have often been criticised for the hackneyed scripts and lack of coherent storylines, his presence has always illuminated the overall atmosphere, leaving viewers in splits; his eccentric and amusing presence is crucial to films.
On his 51st birthday today, we take a look at some of his best films that are available on Netflix. Let’s get started!
Mike Peters is a struggling comedian who, like a lovesick puppy, is reeling from his recent breakup with a long-standing girlfriend named Michelle. His friend, aspiring actor and womanizer, Trent Walker attempts to help Mike step up his game and woo other women to get over Michelle as quickly as possible. However, swinging is not an easy job, especially for people who are as caring and vulnerable as Mike Peters.
This is the film that catapulted Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn’s career to stardom. Favreau, who had written the script, declined to cast well-known actors. As usual, the film is cute and amusing and showcases wonderful chemistry between frequent collaborators Vaughn and Favreau.
“You’re so money and you don’t even know it.”
What do married couples do when their marriage reaches its threshold point and starts to sour? They attend therapy and drag their friends along with them to address their marriage troubles. In the film, Dave and Ronnie join their friends Jason and Cynthia, Joey and Lucy as well as Shane and Trudy for a couple’s therapy session in Eden West where they enjoy various other thrilling amenities before being compelled to face respective marital issues.
Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman play Dave and Ronnie, the couple whose things are fine with them. Although reluctant to go on the tip at first, they soon realise and identify their problems which are rooted in their stubbornness. Although the cast members are uber-talented, especially winning over the audience with the fantastic camaraderie shared by Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, the lack of coherence in the script leaves behind the skeleton of a mirthless and drab comedy.
“I’m gonna be the biggest ass you’ve ever seen.”
A deliveryman for his family-owned butcher shop, slacker David Wozniak lives a life of haplessness and mediocrity. However, he soon finds out that he has fathered over 500 offsprings by donating his sperm to the sperm bank of which 142 have decided to sue him. In an effort to make amends, he decides to take accountability and gets involved in some of their lives to shower them with random acts of kindness. However, this could get in the way of him living a happy and contented life with his pregnant girlfriend.
Vince Vaughn is likeable and charming as the befuddled David. He is the soul of the film and epitomises the anxieties of fatherhood. Chris Pratt is amazingly funny in his character as well. However, the script fails to move the audience to laughter or sympathy and remains a trail of the could-have-beens.
“Emma, I am Starbuck!”
Brad and Kate dislike spending their holidays with their parents who are divorced. They are scared by the prospect of marriage for obvious reasons; however, they are stuck at San Francisco Airport one Christmas which forces them to spend four individual Christmases at their respective parents’ houses. This leads to an evening of discovery where they uncover various unknown secretes about one another before coming to a definitive conclusion about getting married and having children.
Although Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon both deliver their best, the jocund spirit of the film suffers due to a lack of humour and abundance of Christmas stereotypes that make the script drab and boring. It is Vaughn’s impeccable comic timing as well as an overwhelming presence that makes the film somewhat tolerable.
“My childhood was like the Shawshank Redemption, except I didn’t have some old, warm, black man to share my story with!”
Gary Grobowski is unclean and clumsy and falls in love with the prim perfectionist Brooke Meyers. Together, they move into a posh condo but soon have several quarrels regarding their conflicts of interest, eventually falling out. They soon start living as roommates and realise that their feelings get in the way of finding happiness while being forced to confront bitter truths about their respective personalities.
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston both deliver heartfelt performances. However, as an anti-romantic comedy, despite having quintessential elements characteristic to such films, the script does not work well, often falling through due to its forced wackiness.
“You push yourself and push yourself trying to achieve the impossible because you know what that moment comes, everything you’ve done has prepared you for victory!”
The film sees the owner of a gymnasium Average Joe’s named Peter LaFleur defaulting on the gym’s mortgage and nearly losing it to White Goodman. He has to pay $50000 a month and participates in a dodgeball tournament that might make them win $50000 and help retain the gym. However, partaking in the dodgeball competition is no easy task and various obstacles beset their path.
Vaughn plays the owner of Average Joe’s who is very passionate about retaining the gymnasium. As a goofball comedy, it sees brilliant performances from both Vaughn and Ben Stiller who help keep things “thoroughly entertaining” with their erratic, nonsensical and idiosyncratic on-screen presence.
“You’re adopted, your parents don’t even love you.”
Divorce mediators Jeremy and John love crashing weddings to have sex with women. When they crash the US Secretary of Treasury’s daughter’s wedding, they are instantly tempted to seduce his other daughters Gloria and Claire. However, unbeknownst to them, their hearts play tricks by making them fall in love with the women and hilarity ensues, where the duo find themselves trapped in unthinkable predicaments.
Wild and amusing, the film boasts of some unbelievably funny moments shared by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Vaughn received high praise for his role as Jeremy due to his show-stopping performance with his “deadpan eyes, the sublimated misdirected intelligence” that was compared to Bill Murray’s Caddyshack years.
“Grief is nature’s most powerful aphrodisiac.”
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