If you were to ask me if there is one movie that I feel that I’ve seen more times that any other person on this planet, well that choice may very well be the 1988 Film “Vice Versa”!
Once this Judge Reinhold/Fred Savage Body-switch comedy hit Premium Cable, it seemly played on an endless loop each and every day (along with “Just One of the Guys” and Teen Witch”!) for the rest of the 80s!
I mean seriously I could come home from School and always depend on one of those 3 movies movies playing on TV, and to tell you the truth I couldn’t be Happier! (especially if I caught the big “Where do you get off having tits?!” revel in GUYS!)
“Vice Versa” tells the tale of Marshall Seymour (Judge Reinhold) a divorced and uptight workaholic who’s recently became a Vice President at “Vigar & Avery”, a Ritzy Department Store in Chicago. Marshall along with his Co-worker/Girlfriend “Sam” (the ever so hot Corinne Bohrer aka the Mom in almost every TV AD!) are on a Business Trip in Thailand to find possible merchandise for an upcoming in-store campaign!
Mixed into some of the wares they plan to bring back home is ancient skull that was stolen from a Buddhist monastery by James Hong and sold to two Art Thieves Turk (David Proval) and Lillian Brookmeyer (Swoosie Kurtz) who’s plan to retrieved the item before Marshall becomes aware of it, and of course that plan doesn’t go so well!
Back home in Chicago, Marshall meets up with his Ex Wife Robyn (Jane Kaczmarek of “Malcolm in the Middle” fame) to pick up his son Charlie (Fred Savage) for the week during Christmas while her and her new Husband Cliff go on a Vacation. The two often clash over everything, from the noisiness of Charlie’s Drum-set to his pet frog “Moe” getting lose at a fancy restaurant that they are eating at.
At work Marshall makes a complete Ass out of himself when he revels the stolen mystical skull in front of the board of Directors as one of the items he brought back from Thailand with the intent to sell 1000s of them at the Store!
Soon after he is contacted by Lillian Brookmeyer about the mistake, and the two plan to meet face to face to do an exchange with one of the cheap Jars she ended up with instead of the skull.
In the mean time Marshall brings the Skull back to his apartment, but after another argument ensues between the Father/Son Duo, the two Switch Places when they both believe the other one has it “EASY”!
Now the Father and Son have to figure out how to switch back to their former bodies and also avoid the Art thieves from taking the skull back before they accomplish that goal!
It’s here where the movie really picks up steam! With Reinhold now Playing the “Charlie” role as an 11 Year Old trapped in a Adult’s Body and Savage now playing an Intelligent Man bored with having to repeat the 5th Grade all over again while now having to deal with the pressure School Bullies and a Teacher who thinks that he has a crush on her due to a misplaced love note! The two actors make this otherwise done to death premise work really well here!
Without a doubt my favorite scene in the movie is when Charlie (as Marshall) plays the Drums at the Music Section in the Department store and almost gets fired! I especially love watching his "Dad" along with with the sneaky “Yes Men” of the Department Store watching what appears to be Marshall's career go up in flames! (And yes that's Richard Kind and Jane Lynch as "Gentlepersons"!)
- Don't stop now, we're really wailing!
I don’t want to give to much more away (cause seriously I want to watch this movie if you haven't seen it yet) but eventually the two figure out how to get back to their normal selfs, but along the way they come to appreciate and love each other like never before! So with that please watch "Vice Vesra" some time over the Holidays! You'll love the Winterly Chicago setting, “The Jingle Bell Moose” debacle, and of course Charlie taking Sam to that “Crazy In The Night" Malice concert!
"THESE GUYS ARE RADICAL!!!"
A couple years ago when I had the pleasure of meeting Judge Reinhold at one of the Monster Mania Conventions in New Jersey. As I stood in line with people holding on to Gremlins and Fast Times posters, I myself had my well worn copy of “Vice Versa” on VHS! Mr. Reinhold was happy to meet a fan of it and said it was movie he had a lot of fun making!
Vice Versa 2: Like Father, Like Son!
(Man I'm cheesin' so hard here!)
To Tom, Many Thanks!
Merry Shitmas Everyone and Remember to “Set The Night To Music!