Trading Places: Sharing Laughs

Well it’s 2016, which means there is a no batch of movies for me to start catching up on. Yeah I definitely made some progress last year (although some were better left alone) but I’m constantly reminded by many at the station about the films I still haven’t seen. So I guess it’s about time I check out another highly regarded comedy: “Trading Places.”

After first getting it confused with “In & Out,” I found the classic comedy to be everything it’s cracked up to be. While unrealistic (surprise, surprise…) the movie focuses on 2 exceedingly rich brokers who get into the classic argument about Nature vs. Nurture. And almost on cue, the two see a perfect opportunity the test the age-old question by vastly changing the lives of Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine. Of course hilarious consequences follow. 

BR is excellently played by Eddie Murphy as the cocky, compulsive lying hustler who vastly changes when he becomes “rich.” After first showing off his newfound wealth to his posse, BR starts to think more about the place he owns and the people in the world. Not only that but he also becomes pretty good at his new job.

Winthorpe, on the other hand, is thrown into a world he knows nothing about. After getting beat up in jail, everything in his life starts crashing including his friendships, fiancé and power. With another strong performance from Dan Aykroyd, the former legacy falls a little below morality as he tries to regain his former life.

With the bet finished, the two villains focus on the New Year and their big plan to get even more money. Unfortunately for them, BR listens in and uses both Winthorpe as well as new friends Coleman and Ophelia to exact revenge on the Dukes. It all culminates in a hilarious train scene where the group acts in a ridiculous manner in order to steal an important briefcase. While the monkey bit was a little much, it doesn’t take away from the comical accents.

Now the ending can be a little complicated if you’re confused about stocks (which I think everyone is to a degree) but it gives us a happy conclusion where the former chumps become rich and the Dukes lose everything. It’s exactly what you would expect from an 80s comedy which is frankly what makes it so good. One thing that did surprise me was how vulgar it was. Not that I have any problem with it but some N words as well as unnecessary nudity further emphasizes what decade this film is from.

Now Sileo might have been right about “Trading Places” (though it doesn’t make up for “The Hangover Part II”) because some comedies are just timeless. I know plenty kids in my generation don’t understand humor prior the 90s but trust me these movies still hold up. Maybe the next series of films I’m assigned should include Eddie Murphy. You’ll get no complaints from me!



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