There Will Be Swingers. – by Sam Ike.



My friends and I watched an abundance of upcoming films trailers last night. Mostly familiar big budget summer flicks but then one popped up and sparked interest. An R-rated comedy starring Vince Vaughn called “Unfinished Business”. Given the rating, the star and the fact that we were a set of males in our mid to late 20’s, a click was inevitable.

 “That looks terrible” collectively the group said as we watched Dave Franco blindly get hit with darts. I disagreed saying that it seems like another vehicle for Vinny Vaughn to reflect what we all want. “Little bit of a reach, he’s no Daniel Day Lewis” a friend said. “I know. He’s better”.

Who is a better actor Vince Vaughn or Daniel Day-Lewis? That argument came that night and I stood at the forefront of Team Vaughn.

Actors are hardly ever pitted against each other in debates or at least not in the same way athletes are. We see “Manning or Brady” debates way more  than “Pacino / De Niro”. It’s fair to say the former debate is becoming more lopsided by the day. Athletes are judged by wins and movies are subjective in their success and require different standards per film. It seems lopsided. Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably the most celebrated actor of his generation while Vince Vaughn’s last movies were “Delivery Man” and “The Internship” which are barley Redbox-able.

“But Sam, Daniel Day-Lewis truly becomes his role and transforms himself into the character” Sure, but Vince Vaughn makes way more money and does less work. That’s the American Dream fulfilled one Pg-13 comedy at a time. Danny Day has to change his voice, stance, diet and overall personality for months to become his character. Vince’s biggest dilemma (see what I did there?) is about the color tee shirt he’s going to wear. “Black, White, Grey? Oh I’m just wearing a dodgeball jersey? Sweet”. Easy as cake.

Take some of their biggest movies and compare the ideology. “There Will Be Blood” is a grim depiction of the American Dream and what kind of person can succeed. Daniel Day Lewis spends the whole movie clawing and carefully orchestrating maneuvers to be one of the biggest CEO’s in his field. He also has like zero fun doing it.  In “Dodgeball” Vinny V is in a dire situation. He needs money to keep the gym he poorly manages and probably shouldn’t own. Rather than fixing the gym policies and accounts, Vinny does what we would all do and play a elementary school game. WHAT WE WOULD ALL DO!

Don’t give me the award angle. Yes Day-Lewis is deserving of all the accolades and praise he’s received for over twenty years. But an Oscar can’t be the judge. If awards dictated who was the best actor then Timothy Hutton would be doing Scorcesse flicks over Dicaprio. It all depends on what you personally value. We live in a society where Michael Bay makes way more money than Terrance Malick. Who’s better, the guy who spends seven years making a movie where Sean Penn says five words or the dude who shows up, blows shit up and gets hundreds of people off the unemployment line?

You and me are bakers. Each individual cupcakes produce by you are made from scratch and mine are manufactured but I place the manufactured icing myself. If we roughly sell the same amount then who’s the smarter baker? Me. Just because Vinny Vaughn does less work doesn’t mean he’s not doing harder work. Do you know how hard it is to make having fun look on screen? Ask Carson Daly.
Vince Vaughn is you, me and even Dupree. He’s the guy that does the thing we want to do but can’t do it. No one wants to dig for oil for over fifty years. We want to get drunk with Tom Wilkinson and make people happy by calling them “money”. So while you may disagree and look at Daniel Day as our Brando, I’ll gleefully buy a ticket to “Unfinished Business” with a smile.

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