Film Review: A SWINGER’S WEEKEND (Canada 2017)

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A Swingers Weekend Poster
Seemingly perfect couple Lisa and Dan plan a steamy swingers weekend. However things go wrong when a third couple drops in unexpectedly.


Jon E. Cohen

The relationships of three couples come under examination in the debut feature of writer/director Jon E. Cohen with co-writer Nicola Sammeroff.

The audience is first introduced to what seems to be the perfect couple, Dan (Randal Edwards) and Lisa (Erin Karpluk).  Dan is exceptionally pleased in the car on the way to a gorgeous property by a lake when Lisa closes a house sale.  “I am the happiest man in the world,” Dan quips.  This means that this couple is going to have problems.  At the house, they are met by the second couple, their younger friends, Teejay (Michael Xavier) and Skai (Erin Agostino) who reveal their recent engagement.  Teejay and Skai are a mixed couple, so that the film can be current with the times.  Skai and Dan had an attraction in the past, so one can expect more trouble.  The third couple is Geoffrey (Jonas Chernick) and Fiona (Mia Kirshner), one with marital problems.  Lisa is unaware of the couple’s invitation by her husband and Fiona is unaware of the purpose of the weekend.

The purpose of the weekend is revealed to the audience 10 minutes into the film.  Lisa and Dan want to swap sexual partners.  It is Lisa’s idea as she wants to try something different, and one can see Dan has the hots for Skai.  Each individual has his or her own reasons for participating in the partner sharing in what is termed A SWINGER’S WEEKEND.  A list of rules are laid out, like no true affection, just sex and confidentiality.  It turns out that the couples are not really swingers but ordinary folk with jealousies and weaknesses trying to be hip.  The girls draw like a lottery to see who sleeps with whom.

It is interesting to see how each person reacts to the assigned sex partner.  But the film is no BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, Paul Mazursky’s film with a similar theme that was a hit way back when.  One problem is the story’s predictability.  It does not take a genius to guess which couple will benefit from the weekend.  (Cohen has his key to the success of a couple’s relationship.)  Cohen’s film cannot decide whether it should be a drama or a comedy.  As a drama, the story is too predictable and for a comedy, there are insufficient comedic set-ups.  Cohen appears too confident with the humour.  In one scene, Skai suggest yoga and Lisa retorts: “Can we drink wine with the session?”  The camera fades way as if allowing the audience to have time to take a good laugh.  The house, furniture and food served are more interesting than the couples.  The film contain a musical interlude that somehow fails to uplift the proceedings.

It is surprising though that the sex scenes turn out quite erotic.  The segments of Skai putting her arms around Dan while water-boarding and Geoffrey sneaking into the bed naked with Lisa get the blood flowing.

If Cohen meant the film to be a character study, it hardly works with couples the audience does not really care about.  Every person turns out too selfish (except for maybe Geoffrey) at the end.



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