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|Index||22 reviews in total|
Like Father, Like Son is probably most appealing to 80s fans, presenting
typical teen genre conflicts as well as 80s teen stars, Kirk Cameron and
Sean Astin. Young kids might appreciate it simply for the story (despite
it's lack of novelty) of a teenager getting all the priveleges of being an
adult, while only having to change appearance and not attitude. The decade
however, offering a nauseating selection of role switching comedies and
parodies, may have the rest of us looking to avoid this repetition and
searching for something else on the shelves.
Chris Hammond (Kirk Cameron) is a high school senior. He's an average student, a decent track team participant, and likes a girl at school who happens to be dating a psychotic jock bully. And, his dad, Jack (Dudley Moore) is breathing down his neck to get him an ivy league school to study pre-med, leaving Chris secretly wanting to tell his dad to just let him make his own decisions about what he wants to do.
Chris's buddy, Trigger (Sean Astin), has a wacky uncle who's staying with him. He lived in the desert for awhile, experimenting with body-switching potions. Trigger gets a hold of the brain transference serum and it switches Chris and Jack's brains so that Chris is Jack and Jack is Chris. There's a mistake here, in that their accents should've switched as well, since when Trigger tried it on the cat and dog, the cat barked at the dog and the dog meowed at the cat.
But, it makes for a whole lot of trouble. The incredibly boring and sometimes big-shot Dr. Hammond has to settle on being a teenager awhile. And Chris has to settle for being Dr. Hammond, both without screwing things up. For Dr. Hammond, he hopes to get the ordeal with over quickly; but for Chris, there's advantages to not having to show up for school, take tests, and the like. But, they each grow quite irritable of the situation as they tend to screw up each other's lives. Dr. Hammond has a few nasty run-ins with the bully as Chris. And Chris, involved in an affair with the boss's wife, not only sets the living room on fire, but also risks his father's chances of becoming chief of staff.
I still think it's a fun movie for kids and probably teenagers. Safe family fun for the most part anyways due to lack of sex, violence, and for the most part, language. However, Kirk Cameron did tend to get quite annoying at parts as the whiny teenager. Actually, Trigger was one of the best characters in the movie as a sort of slacker friend of Chris, except he's not in the movie all that much. I did like Chris as Dr. Hammond during the hospital scenes, when he had to take his med students on rounds, and didn't know what the heck he was doing. It has it's moments.
I enjoy this movie, I like it even better than Vice Versa, although Leonard Maltin gave it no stars. The biggest exception I noticed about his film, is how Kirk Cameron (Chris Hammond) was only 16, and a senior in high school, 17 in the movie. When in a majority of flicks the actors that age are in the early or mid twenties and look way too old. it's what a real high school looks like, and Clarence (Sean Astin-Samwise, Lord of the Rings Trilogy) his wacky, sarcastic friend, was in this when he was fifteen or sixteen, making him look actually a little young to be a senior. He is the one responsible for the body change, snatching an ancient potion from his archaeologist uncle. Chris' dad, Jack (Dudley Moore) is a heart surgeon, on the verge of being named chief of staff. And Chris is on his biology exam not seeming to have much of a clue what he's talking about, and is an average student. But then they switch bodies and Chris is in his dad's body and his dad has to go to school cause he's in Chris' body, and is really studious in his classes, even smarter than the teachers! While Chris in his dad's body doesn't have the slightest clue what he's doing as a heart surgeon, and has no sophisticated vocabulary, and parties like a child/teenager. Chris has bully problems at school and has to face up to a huge old looking kid who says "dickhead" And the kids at school think Chris is a dork, as his father, but the interns at the hospital think he's a lot of fun, chewing gum, driving a jeep, and taking them out for pizza and beer. The chief-of-staff's wife, a good 25-years younger than him, cheats on her husband and screws around with Jack' in Chris body, which leads to catastrophe. Anyway, I really like this movie. Here are some reasons why, and also why, I think it was superior to the others and should of gotten three stars, if not more. Despite the acting and script being considered inferior, this is the only one that makes me truly "happy" when watching it, it is set in southern California where the sun is always shining during the day. Sean Astin was in this at a young age, the kid is a teenager, and not a child, so there's two girlfriends in the movie. it is priceless watching Dudley Moore party and laugh watching MTV, and dance on the kitchen table to rock and roll. It teaches something about American History and how Okay became a word, through Chris' lecture in his dad's body at school. The interns have a bawl with Jack in Chris' body after work, eating pizza and drinking, Jack, Chris and Clarence go on a little vacation to get the antidote near the end of the movie, and he and his dad, hug each other and Cameron cries on cue, before the conclusion. Am I forgetting anything?
Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I think this movie's great.
There's lots of hilarious (and clean) sight gags, slapstick and
Dudley Moore, obviously the far more superior comedian, is fantastic as a teenager stuck in an adult's body. He has many funny scenes and milks them for all they're worth, my favourite being the chewing gum/cigarette incident. The looks on his co-stars' faces is priceless. Watch also for Moore's date with Margaret Colin (that goes really badly) and when he does the rounds at the hospital.
Unfortunately, there are a few flaws. There's a bit of swearing and sexual reference (which would make it an otherwise very suitable film for kids). It wastes the talent of Catherine Hicks in a surprisingly pointless and unnecessary role and Sean Astin is super-annoying (as always) as the "wacky" best friend/sidekick. The film also resorts to schmaltz at the end when it goes for a warm and fuzzy finale.
Otherwise, a great film that's lots and lots of fun. Funky soundtrack and wonderful flashback to the delightfully tacky fashions and hairstyles of the '80s.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Im not too sure about what the last reviewer was expecting to see...Citizen Kane? This was a great lighthearted comedy from the time I was graduating high school that anyone born in the late 60s-early 70's will enjoy. You will love the cornball fashion from the big 80's as well as the big hair. I thought they put a interesting plot in the freaky Friday theme using the brain transference juice. Also, Dudley Moore did an excellent job right after the switch acting like a freaked out 17 year old in a 47 year old's body. And of course, the comedy ensues as both struggle to jump into the others life, one in high school and the other at the hospital as chief surgeon. So if you want to come home and have a drink and relax and watch a lighthearted comedy from when you were in high school and remember the old days, this is definitely the movie for you.
Like Father Like Son was made at the height of Kirk Cameron's bubblegum
popularity as teen idol, courtesy of his television series Growing
Pains which was dominating the ratings in 1987. Cameron was just
getting into his fundamentalist religion kick so the script couldn't be
As it is it's a mildly amusing comedy of the Freaky Friday vein, only this time it's a father and son, Kirk's father in this case being Dudley Moore. Kirk's your typical teenage kid, just looking for a good time and not too serious. Moore is a very serious and respected surgeon who would like to be the new chief of staff at his hospital to replace Patrick O'Neal's whose recommendation on a replacement will probably make or break a candidate.
Kirk's got some troubles of his own in the form of shapely Camille Cooper who's hitting on him. She's the girl friend of jock Micah Grant who hates Kirk and his friend Sean Astin.
In fact Astin's archaeologist uncle is the cause of all the problems that Moore and Cameron face. The uncle Bill Morrison has come back from a dig at the Navajo reservation with a body transference medicine that Astin thinks would be worth a few laughs, even experimenting with a dog and cat on it. But when the maid thinks it's a condiment and Moore and Cameron use it on the spaghetti, strange things happen.
Each lives about 36 hours in the other's bodies and the other's lives and generally make a mess of it. If you've seen both versions of Freaky Friday you've got a general idea of what's going to happen.
The film did reasonably well at the box office though it failed to make Cameron a movie star. That didn't happen until Kirk started playing on the Christian film circuit. Moore and Cameron and Astin work well together and it's still mildly amusing.
Someone must have thought that all this movie needed to succeed was
Kirk Cameron to pull in the teenage girls and Dudley Moore to pull in
their parents. Somehow they forgot that Kirk is incapable of pulling
off anything in the way of depth in his acting and Dudley in a role
like this would get carried away with its silliness.
The premise was old, the dialogue poor, the situations strained, and the acting cartoonish. The result is a bad movie with a fading teen heartthrob and a fifty-something actor playing his Arthur character at the age of ten. If anyone finds this in a 'sale' bin for used videos, try to bury it farther down where it can be avoided and forgotten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Like Father, Like Son" used to be one of my favorites
for the time
it lasted on a VHS tape, during eight little months
when I was ten.
I'm not even sure it does count as an alibi. But let me contextualize
this: it was the early 90's, Kirk Cameron was still in my mind Mike
Seaver, the epitome of coolness and every Saturday night comedy was
still under the 80's influence starring any of John Candy, Dan Aykryod
or Dudley Moore. The premise of Moore and Cameron playing father and
son and switching bodies (or minds) was so amusing it almost made me
love the film before watching it.
I realize that it takes more than a concept to make a movie, and I realize that the film might totally pass over a new generation who associates the name Kirk Cameron to some illuminated newborn bigot and might alas say "Dudley Who?" if you mention the name of the late actor. Some might even wonder what the hell is mother Camdell doing in this series and be shocked to see that the chubby Sam from the "Lord of the Ring" series used to be a clone of Marty McFly. But who am I kidding? The chances for the new generation to know about "Like Father, Like Son" are as low as Miley Cyrus playing the Easter bunny in the next Kirk Cameron movie. Rod Daniel's 1987 movie belong to the infamous league of forgotten 80's flicks that don't even benefit from a second watching.
Indeed, all the nostalgia in the world can't prevent the film from a severe bashing, but still, how could a film reuniting so many acting talents (the supporting roles are good) and with such an amusing concept could generate such a lame and predictable story. Reading the trivia section on IMDb would almost make you believe the director and the actors approached the roles seriously or with the right comedic instinct, but the outcome doesn't validate a word they say and prove the late Ebert right. For one thing, Ebert said that a film involving a brain-transference serum wouldn't have any plot because such a serum would be its own antidote. That's the essence of the idiot plot and I do feel like an idiot not to have thought about it. But even by assuming that the antidote would be a bit more complex to find (still why would the Uncle bring with him the serum and not the antidote?), the film had more infuriating flaws to deal with.
First, the film started well setting up both Dr. Jack and his son Chris Hammond as popular persons in their respective fields, an eminent surgeon promised to be elected head of staff and the cool kid who dates the prettiest girl and is the anchor leg in the next big relay race. The dialogues are convincing and the acting solid but once the switching occurs, the film all goes downhill. And I mean in an immediate way. Cameron was a normal teenager, not too wacky, not too weird, but from the minute Dudley Moore becomes embodies his son's role, he takes the most outrageous 180° turn and starts bawling like a little child. I could pass over the fact that he acted shocked while he could tell what happened (he had just tired the serum on the cat and the dog) but his crying was totally out of character. I was like "Chris wouldn't bawl like this" and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
None of the actors ever tried to capture the other's mimics, well, Cameron tried, for a while but just when he gets on school, he starts to act like a nerdy little geek with an awkward walk that had nothing to do with Dr. Chris Hammond confident stroll over the hospital walls. In fact, the whole body-switching thing was just the starter of a series of events where we can all powerlessly witness each part ruining the other's legacy. Dudley Moore plays Chris Hammond like a ten-year old boy and if Jack wanted to ruin his boy's reputation, he wouldn't have done better. Surely, even a teenager man in his 50's would understand the value of behavior in popularity. And it all escalates to a childish clowning during a boardroom meeting and a romantic dinner with the sexy Margaret Colin leading to a sofa in fire being thrown in a pool. And Chris leaving the concert because the music is too loud. Wow, over the top for Moore and underplayed for Cameron, how about playing the other side of the coin? There was a nice start when "Chris" in Moore's body realized he had a credit card and could drink, but wasn't he supposed to handle girls a way better, how does he turn so awkward when he meets Colin's character?
The film always goes to the obvious gimmick, the song montage, the car chase, the fainting during the delivery scene, painful-to-watch awkwardness while the premise could cover many good things. The remark of Ebert about the actors' accents not changing can even seem as nit-picky, how about that one? Why would that cat bark if he switches mind with the dog? Why would Chris' nemesis want another fight after the beating he gave him a day prior? Why would they turn the head of the hospital into some 'villain' when it was Jack who asked for it by playing weird?
So many questions but life is too precious to ever try to think of them, I won't cherish the film but the nice memory I had of i while it lasted, and that ending that felt like a cherry on the cake at that time, but the cake was so under-cooked, the cherry miserably sinks inside it. A pity for such a promising concept, not to provide anything remotely amusing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hello Everybody Today I'm reviewing a Teen Body Swap Comedy from 1987 Called Like Father Like Son which stars Dudley Moore & Kirk Cameron. The Movie is about Jack Hammond (Dudley Moore) who is a Surgeon & his son Chris Hammond (Kirk Cameron) Switching Bodies. I First Heard of this Movie on Siskel & Ebert's worst Movies of 1987 and I agree with Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert. The Movie is Really Stupid with the whole body swap plot. The Movie's plot involves the father acting like the son and the son acting like father. When I watched this movie I didn't know this movie was PG-13 because there is a lot of swearing in this movie. I also thought the ending to be weird. 2/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At the time (1987) this film was one of a spate of body transference
films on offer. Hollywood had found a new theme to play with. If Rod
Daniel's flick is any indication, none of the projects were very
Chris (Kirk Cameron) and his doctor dad (Dudley Moore) inadvertently swap bodies after a mishap with an American Indian potion. Comedy from here on in is strictly 'fish-out-of-water', as Chris and his pa must learn to cope and adapt to the other's life.
A few of the resulting situations bring a laugh, some just a smile. Mostly however, this is your average situation comedy. Lorne Cameron's story makes that common but dreadful mistake of going for a sentimental finale, which of course falls flat on its face.
It was films like this that abruptly ended Kirk Cameron's movie career; and this is probably one of his best. Dudley Moore has been infinitely better. Miles Goodman provides a bouncy score.
Monday, February 1, 1999 - Video
In the late 1980s there were several body swap teen comedies that
emerged in a short space of time. Tom Hanks in Big was the big one and
the others were judged against it.
Like Father Like Son is a likable comedy but drastically lacks a plot, wastes some of its actors and seems to be a series of sketches.
Kirk Cameron plays a high school teenager who with the aid of a Native Indian portion mixes his mind with his brilliant surgeon father, Dudley Moore.
Now its Moore who acts as the kid and Cameron goes to school with his adult know how which irritates the other students and his best friend, Sean Astin.
They both have to get used to their new bodies, Moore has to navigate a promotion but upsets his hospital boss by siding with a colleague to offer medicine to those without insurance and fooling around with his wife.
Moore is in his element when he is having fun as a teenager and Cameron is very good as the more uptight one after the body swap, maybe he was just being himself!
Patrick O'Neal and Catherine Hicks are rather wasted in this very 1980s comedy. Its sporadically funny and mildly enjoyable.
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