There a rich pair of brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) who control a lot of stuff, and are having a debate on Nurture vs Nature. To prove a point, they turf rich trader Louis Winthrop (Dan Aykroyd) out on the street and disgrace his name, and bring con artist and beggar Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) in to his position. One thing leads to another and they discover the swap and hatch a plan, along with the hooker with a heart of gold, Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) and awesome butler Coleman (Denholm Elliot).
There are a lot of things politically incorrect about this film, including liberal racism and use of the ‘n’ word, plus almost every woman has her breasts out with very little reason… and perhaps some of that can be explained away by it being the eighties. I think. It’s funny and mostly quite good, even if it is somewhat ridiculous. But it is that good ridiculous that makes you feel warm inside – I’d suggest it was a good film for kids if not for the language and nudity. And the hooker. And the suggestion of certain activities in the prison. Okay, maybe not for kids…
Trading Places was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score and its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score.
Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) lives in Hawaii and spends his spare time bedding beautiful tourists, avoiding any commitment. Then he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore) a beautiful woman who lives on the same island and has a brain condition that does not allow her to keep short-term memories. Each morning she wakes and the previous day has gone; she is back to the day before the car accident that causes her condition. Her father and brother spend their lives recreating this day for her. Immediately in love, Henry works on finding a different way for Lucy to live her life.
I enjoyed this film in the most superficial way possible. Essentially, it’s a good, function romantic comedy. Don’t spend much time trying to analyse it. It’s not worth it, and it will fall apart quickly. Also, don’t spend too much time looking for the chemistry between Henry and Lucy – it’s almost non-existent. I’ve never really minded Adam Sandler, but watching this, I totally get why so many people can’t stand him. Especially with all of the stupid, quirky characters, and Rob Schneider. Oh, for crying out loud.
Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) has held a position as congressman in North Carolina for years, and is again running unopposed. But he continues to make major political gaffes, and uses spin to get around it. The Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Akroyd), who are the faceless men behind politics, need to get someone more respectable in office to ensure their illegal Chinese labor plans get through congress. They find the most unlikely candidate, Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), an eccentric director of a small town tourist centre.
There’s a lot to love in this film. Seeing Will Ferrell punch a baby was definitely a highlight – horrifically detailed slow-motion CGI that is oh-so-wrong, but just worked. Plus, whilst Galifianakis plays an eccentric, the portrayal doesn’t seem to have that cruel edge that a lot of comedy has had over the last few years.
Whilst I enjoyed the film, I felt it didn’t stay strong for the full 85 minutes. The story just seemed to drop off by the end. Good for a laugh, sure, and a lot funnier than I had expected, but not totally grouse.