Welcome back! It is day 2 of our movie countdown to Christmas. Are you ready for some more holly jolly movies full of cheer and sugar plums?
Well, this one has nudity, swearing, drugs, prostitution and attempted murder with a deadly weapon. How’s that for sugar plums?
Let’s get into it!
Last Christmas, I gave you a dollar. Then the very next day, you traded it away. Isn’t that how the song goes?
Starring Ghostbusters celeb Dan Aykroyd and famous comedian Eddie Murphy, Trading Places was directed in 1983 by John Landis. Those unfamiliar with John Landis, he directed comedy classics Animal House and Blues Brothers. You may also know him for Coming to America or his horror magnum opus An American Werewolf in London. Safe to say Landis had a thing for Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. And his taste in horror most likely drew him to none other than the scream queen herself…
Jamie Lee Curtis. Most notable for her role as Laurie Strode in the original Halloween and the 2018 sequel by the same name. Trading Places doesn’t show off her abilities to destroy unstoppable psycho killers in masks, but it shows off her comedic edge and her vast acting talents.
Set in New York City, so opens with two characters in the same city but inhabiting two different worlds. Dan Aykroyd plays wealthy investor Louis Winthorpe with soft hands and a golden spoon. Eddie Murphy humorously plays the homeless con man, Billy Ray Valentine. These two characters intersect on Wall Street and without admiration for one another. Winthorpe sees Valentine as lowly societal scum while Valentine looks down on Winthorpe as a spoiled brat who gets whatever he asks for.
But not for long. When Winthorpe’s bosses, the Dukes, decide to carry out an experiment to test the classic scientific theory, Nature vs. Nurture, the tables turn. The Dukes frame Winthorpe as a thief and drug pusher. They have his assets frozen, the locks on his home changed, and even fire him from his secure employment and disrupt his hoity-toity marriage.
In his place, the Dukes bring up Valentine from the streets and put him in Winthorpe’s role as their company’s lead investor. They give him suits, money and a butler. Valentine thrives in his new environment, nearly becoming Winthorpe. Meanwhile, Winthorpe crashes and burns.
But loose lips sink ships. The Dukes’ plans are accidentally revealed to Valentine. He goes to find Winthorpe on the streets and in the care of Jamie Lee Curtis to enact the ultimate plan of revenge: to trade places with the Dukes.
Yes, It Is A Comedy
Believe it or not, this movie is a comedy. From the sounds of it, one might expect a wicked tragedy. But with these actors and actresses’ comedic performances and incredible writing, Trading Places turns out to be one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made.
If you have a taste for dark comedy, add this one to your Christmas list. You’re in for a treat if you do. Mind you, with all the swearing and nudity a 13 year old boy could ask for in a movie, you might get coal in your stocking for watching this one! Don’t worry, though, it’s worth it.
Day 2 of our Christmas movie countdown is in the books! Tune in tomorrow for the next review in our countdown to Christmas: theHoneyPop
Let us know your favorite moment in Trading Places in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Trading Places IMDB