Changing Place$ (1983)

Trading Places Looking Good, Feeling Good Edition Blu-Ray DVDWell shit me, I’ve been so busy I haven’t got time to do bugger all but work all the time, and forget to update anything. Today, however, I had the rare pleasure to watch this semi-funny, goofy little ball of 80’s “comedy”, as my wife spotted it on Netflix while eating supper and wouldn’t settle for anything else.

It is a strange thing that Eddie Murphy, while a good stand-up comedian and bigger-than-life personality, cannot channel any of that funny into his acting. Anyway, this piece is clearly a product of its time, taking place in the life of the wealthy aristocratic circles of the Reagan-era investor-classes, along with criminal underclasses and underprivileged poor bastards. In the quirky plot, two cigar-smoking old farts, on a power trip of money and exclusive privilege, make a bet on a dollar that they can make the moneyless and crude con-man Eddie Murphy and their Harvard-educated golden goose Dan Aykroyd switch places and behavior, by taking Dan’s house, car, butler, job and money through a nonsensical frame-job, and giving it all to Eddie Murphy.

Of course, shenanigans follow, until Dan is a broken man in a dirty Santa costume, standing in the rain with a dog pissing against his leg and a gun against his head, and Eddie is on top of the world, his attitude towards the poor just as arrogant and uncaring as Dan’s in the start. They of course realise they have been fucked over in the end, and plan a ridiculously carried out revenge plan, essentially stealing stolen stock-market figures before they are published by the ministry of Agriculture and committing a crime against free enterprise, leaving the two assholes broke and themselves millionaires, sipping champagne on a paradise beach.

Get money. Fuck bitches.

Get money. Fuck bitches.

So if you feel like in indulging in some delicious 80’s blatant sexism, indiscriminate racism and good old-world financial elitism, this is the movie for you. At least it is not as bad as Coming to America. If nothing else, I thoroughly recommend the train sequence, where Jamie Lee Curtis pretends to be a sexy Swedish tourist in Lederhosen, Eddie Murphy an outrageous African caricature of an exchange-student from Cameroon, before Dan Aykroyd walks in dressed as a Jamaican Rastafarian, with black shoe-polish all over his face, while every viewer collective cringes in burning embarrassment of the terrible acting and unabashed racism. Brilliant. Also, the secondary villain, a perfect asshole, raped by a gorilla while bound and gagged and stuffed into a gorilla-suit…comedy classic.

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