During an argument, a divorced executive and his 11 year old son casually touch a magical Tibetan skull, releasing a mysterious power that transfers the father's mind to the body of the son and vice versa. Their problems have just begun.
On returning from a buying trip abroad for the department store in which he works, Marshall finds he is in possession of a strange ornamental skull. Marshall is divorced and is looking after his son Charlie for a few days. The skull has special powers, and when Marshall and Charlie simultaneously wish they were each others age, father and son exchange bodies. Now Charlie has to go to work, and Marshall to school. Charlie also has to deal with Marshall's girlfriend. If that weren't enough a pair of smugglers are in pursuit of the skull. Written by
Brian Gilbert, the film's director, felt fortunate he developed a great rapport with then child actor Fred Savage, who plays the boy in the film. The key to the movie, said Gilbert, was in "paying close attention to the interaction between Judge [Reinhold] and Fred, the interaction between father and son". See more »
When Marshall pulls Charlie into the limo, you can see the camera reflected on it. See more »
[Marshall was playing drums in the music department]
What's going on? This is Vigar and Avery, not a nightclub!
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Vice Versa, despite the trite plot, distinguishes itself from other 80s body-switching comedies, because of the age and personality difference between the two characters. To watch Judge Reinhold act like a wild ten year-old trapped in an adults body and Fred Savage to act like a short-tempered middle aged man trapped in a child's body, it makes fine family fun and hilarious comedy. I think, in fact, it is Judge Reinhold in one of his finest moments, being allowed to act like a wild kid, curiously handling adult responsibilities with a child's touch.
Marshall (Judge Reinhold) and his girlfriend take a business trip to Southeast Asia to order some cheap vases for their company's Christmas stock. The shipments get mixed up, and Marshall gets his hands on a strange looking sacred golden skull with mysterious powers that was supposed to be given to some bumbling theives who were going to sell it for a hefty price.
Meanwhile, Marshall's son, Charlie (Fred Savage) is miserable, having to spend the holidays with his dad, an uptight work-a-holic who never seems to have time for Charlie, and usually scoffs at Charlie's suggestions for a little adventure. Charlie was optimistic about the vacation, but it seems that the two just can't get along at all. During an argument about how the other doesn't understand what it's like to be a kid/adult, they get their hands on the skull, and one...two...switcheroo. Charlie becomes Marshall and Marshall becomes Charlie.
Like I said, the thing that makes this movie better than say, 'Like Father, Like Son' which is essentially the same deal (father and son switch), is the contrasting personalities and age differences of the two characters. Judge Reinhold goes from uptight middle-aged guy to a kid who's perpetually stoked about everything. He really turns things around in Marshall's life. And Charlie goes from regular little kid, to something of an arrogant smart-ass. Like 18 Again!, the characters are perfect for a story like this.
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