Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a super spy, travelling the globe, shooting the bad guys and getting the intel – until he gets home to his bored wife, Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and wayward daughter, Dana (Eliza Dushku). But when he discovers a sleaze ball (Bill Paxton) preying on Helen, he decides to teach the guy a lesson, and accidentally drags his family into his secret life.
I was obsessed with this film when it came out. Funny, great action, Jamie Lee Curtis being fabulous, just generally awesome. And watching it back, it’s still great. This will always be a favourite of mine. And I totally forgot about Bill Paxton in it – oh, he’s great!
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.