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Vice Versa
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Vice Versa More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

The best of the bunch

Author: drosse67 from Virginia
6 March 2003

This movie is not the one people think of when talking about those "body switching" comedies that came out between '87 and '89. Big always gets the attention, but for my money Vice Versa is funnier, smarter and more memorable. Judge Reinhold didn't get the Oscar nomination that Tom Hanks scored, and more or less dropped off the face of the earth after making this movie (except, of course, for "Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got the Will"). He was in several '80s blockbusters and stole many scenes in them (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Beverly Hills Cop and its sequel, Ruthless People....) But this movie is his shining hour, where he is believable and funny as both the uptight adult and the 11-year old kid. Fred Savage is equally good--very convincing when he becomes his dad. The movie builds up its jokes nicely, and has a Capra-esque quality to it. It also makes terrific use of character actors Swoosie Kurtz and David Proval, who is light years away from his Sopranos character. The fact that this movie is lumped in with lesser films like 18 Again and Like Father Like Son baffles me. This one is definitely in the league with Big.

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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Realistic Performances

6/10
Author: James Walker (jew_59@msn.com) from Columbus, OH
23 April 2005

While this one came out around the same time as other 'Body Swap' movies, and is usually blown off by most people as an inferior product. I just want to defend this flick for a bit.

Yes, it's a bit predictable, the script isn't the best out there, and it will never be considered a great classic, but the performances of Messrs. Reinhold and Savage are completely believable. In fact, I thought Reinhold's work in this one got overlooked. I'm not complaining about Tom Hanks' job in 'Big,' but I thought that since Hanks was playing an adolescent boy in a man's body, he played it a bit young. Reinhold, on the other hand, was playing a 9 or 10 year old boy, therefore his portrayal was easier to buy into.

Fred Savage does a very good job as the thirty-something man trapped in the body of a boy. The real selling points of these portrayals is in the details. Watch as Savage gives his 'son' encouragement, or Reinhold's uncertainty in dealing with the world.

As I said, a classic? Nah, but a fun afternoon of family entertainment? You bet!

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious comedy/fantasy

9/10
Author: jhaggardjr from Chicago, Illinois
20 September 2001

"Vice Versa" is a very funny, very sweet comedy about a father and son who switch bodies thanks in part to a mysterious Thai skull that they both just happen to be touching at the same time (not to mention making an unintentional wish that they could trade places with each other). Judge Reinhold ("Beverly Hills Cop") and Fred Savage (TV's "The Wonder Years") are dynamite in their roles as the father and son who have to get used to doing things that they're not used to doing (the father goes to school; the son goes to work, etc.). "Vice Versa" has lots of big laughs and is perfect for the entire family. The film, shot almost entirely in Chicago, also uses the Chicago locations to good effect. A hilarious film from start to finish, and it's easily the best of the body switching movies that came out in 1987/1988 ("Like Father, Like Son", "18 Again", and "Big" were the others). I still can't understand why this movie flopped at the box office in 1988. The thing that shocks me is that "Like Father, Like Son" was the worst of these movies, and it made more money than "Vice Versa". I can't figure that one out. "Vice Versa" has 100 times more laughs than "Like Father, Like Son" ever had. Sometimes I can't understand these moviegoers. And in this case, the fact that "Vice Versa" faired poorly at the box office when released in 1988 to me remains an enigma. I saw this movie in a packed movie house on it's opening weekend and everyone (including myself and a friend of mine) was laughing out loud while watching it. It's that funny of a movie.

***1/2 (out of four)

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

I see a silohuett-a of a man!

Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
26 April 2004

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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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

"Big" meets "Freaky Friday" via "Like Father, Like Son," beating them all out single-handedly!

Author: MovieAddict2016 from UK
14 December 2003

"Freaky Friday" was about a girl and her mother who switched bodies and had to cope with the outcome for a brief time period. The girl took the job, the mother took school. The film has been remade at least twice that I can think of off hand, once in 1995 for television with Shelly Long, and again this year with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan.

The formula was put to bad use in 1987's "Like Father, Like Son," which starred Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron as father and son (respectively, of course) who swap places after a freak accident. A year later there was a movie about a father and son who swapped places and tacked work and school. It was called "Vice Versa," and I consider it the greatest of all these films.

What is Hollywood's fascination with swapping parent with child? It almost surely has something to do with cash. But, alas, I do not think that it is the fascination with swapping parent and child as much as just swapping in general. These body swap films were extremely popular during the 80s, but lately we've been seeing a revival of the formula, with Rob Schneider in one of the worst films of 2002, "The Hot Chick," and then the "Freaky Friday" remake.

There are lots of action films released every year. There are lots of comedies and dramas released every year, too. But I think you will be hard pressed to find the majority of those action films all about a guy stranded inside a building being taken over with hostages. I think you will be hard pressed to find the majority of dramas being about Mafia families. It will be even harder to find the character's name in the action film to be John McClane every time around, and every Mafia family's surname to be Corleone.

Basic formulas are used again and again, of course. But there are only so many times you can use the exact same plot, down to every last inch, and expect it to work.

"Vice Versa" does work, thanks to a pretty clever little script and great acting, by both Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage, whose role in "The Princess Bride" proved he good be a sweet little kid, and whose role here proves that he can be a sarcastic 30/40-something alcoholic.

Marshall (Reinhold) is a Chicago businessman who has no time for his 11-year-old son, Charlie (Savage). So when Charlie is sent to spend the weekend with his dad, things don't go so well -- until they make a wish that they could trade places, and an ancient Oriental antique grants their wish.

Marshall works at a big department store in downtown Chicago, host to all types of gadget and toy stores. Charlie, in Marshall's body, goes to work, and Marshall, in Charlie's body, goes to school. They both realize that they both have it tough and, in the end, overcome differences to learn to appreciate them.

Sounds sappy, huh? Sounds by-the-numbers? That's probably because, in a sense, it is. The film is a lot like "Big," released the same year, and a lot like "Freaky Friday," only with different genders in the leading roles. But I believe it's better than both films for a few reasons.

1. Tom Hanks gave a great performance in "Big," but acted more like an 8-year-old than a 13-year-old in a man's body. Fred Savage, as Marshall, not only pulls off the adult role, but Judge Reinhold convincingly portrays a fascinated 11-year-old. Because of this, it's actually a lot more believable and a lot more funny.

2. Charlie, in Marshall's body, does not come up with wonderful ideas for new toys, and does not wow the company chairman with his genius, straightforward designs like Hanks did in "Big." It was not only a convenient plot ploy, but also wholly stupid. "Vice Versa" actually presents a much clearer image of what a child would do in a man's body -- make mistakes, nearly lose his job, go into the department stores and start banging on drums and shooting arrows. (Don't ask.)

This is not only a fun film, but a much more honest film than "Big," which I enjoyed but not nearly quite as much as "Vice Versa." "Big" actually had some sexual amorality in it (13-year-old doing it with 30-year-old, etc.), and despite Tom Hanks' great performance, he did not convince me that he was a 13-year-old inside a man's body, but rather a younger child. All 13-year-olds know what women mean when they say that they want to sleep with them.

"Vice Versa" doesn't resort to typical plot turns. It also has a lot of fun with clean morals, and it came out the same year as "Big," meaning it didn't rip off its success like a lot of movies did thereafter. This is an honest family film as straightforward as Charlie is in Marshall's body. And though it may be copying old formulas in a lot of ways, in my own humble opinion, it succeeds far past the others.

4/5 stars.

- John Ulmer

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Party till you puke!

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
7 January 2010

Separated from his wife and son, Charlie, Marshall Seymour has made himself into successful buyer for a big chain department store. Unfortunately his workaholic ethic leaves little time for him to spend with Charlie. When Charlie comes to stay with Marshall for a break, the pair row and wish they were in each others shoes. A wish that comes true on account of a mystical skull that Marshall mistakenly brought back from his last buying trip.

You got to ask yourself one thing if you are interested in watching Vice Versa for the first time; "are you tired of body swap movies" If the answer is yes then this really isn't the film for you. The fourth adaptation of F. Anstey's novel, Vice Versa is funny, pleasant and not suffering by way of trying to be clever with the format. And rest assured that in spite of its pretty low internet rating, it has a bit more to offer than the likes of The Hot Chick. But it is rigid to the formula of such films, so expecting anything fresh will prove to be a futile exercise. Judge Reinhold & Fred Savage play father and son respectively and both do considerably well with the material to hand. With both proving to have a nice line in comic timing. Sure it's not genre defining or exceptionally hard, but the tidy writing throws up amusing scenarios that both of them utilise to the maximum. Winning scenes come by way of the school and the workplace of the respective individuals, while the involvement of the ex-wife/mother and Sam {Corinne Bohrer} the girlfriend create some nice light hearted touches.

Entertaining fluff for the undemanding viewer. 6/10

Footnote: UK viewers should note that the TV showings of Vice Versa contain many annoying cuts that dull the impact of some scenes. Moderate swearing and obscene finger gestures are the most telling cuts. So if one is interested in catching it, be advised that a pre watershed showing will not be of full comedic value.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Mr. Freaky Friday

9/10
Author: Guitar-8 from Richardson, Texas
10 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If I have to compare the acting of Jodie Foster & Barbara Harris (the 1977 Freaky Friday) to Fred Savage & Judge Reinhold, the guys would win hands down.

It was cool to see that jam session at Vigar & Avery Dept. store where Charlie (in Marshall's body) played the drums with that rich boy guitarist. Luckily he got out of that when the boss found out it was his favorite customer's son. Also, when Charlie took on those bullies in the bathroom, pretending to be an undercover cop.

Another favorite part was when Fred Savage got to drive that police motorcycle to catch the bad people.

Little did I know that his ex-wife & Charlie's mother would later become a loudmouth, driving 4 boys crazy in the process (Jane Kaczamrek-Malcolm In The Middle).

Overall, one of the best family movies of 1988.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good as a kid, great as an adult.

9/10
Author: mazdaprobegt from Ohio
28 November 2013

I vaguely remember enjoying this film as a child. Watching it a 2nd time now as a middle-aged man sheds a whole new light on this outstanding piece of work. There are parts that I'm sure I didn't find humorous back then that were absolutely hysterical this time around. Very subtle adult themes that went over my head now struck me as very clever.

I'm very happy to have stumbled upon this movie again. I highly recommend this film, especially to those that remember viewing it back in the 80's. I've found it to be more enjoyable than Big or any of the other body swap movies of that time.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Probably the best of the 4 comedies that came out around the same time.

Author: lartronic from Akron, Ohio
1 October 2000

Although "Big" is on the same level. This a great comedy that isn't only funny, but also good for the family. Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage are great in their roles, I don't think 2 better actors could have been picked. The movie in whole is a lot of fun, no deep thinking, it's just easy to watch. A good movie for all.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The only good swap film to the date

9/10
Author: Hache Rodríguez from Colombia
30 May 2010

I first saw this movie in the 80's. I was about seven or eight years old, around the same year I saw "Like Father Like son", also "Big" with Tom Hanks and later on saw the two "freaky Friday Remakes" and "Hot Chick", Don't remember exactly if I've seen "18 again", think I have. Anyway, of all these SWAP films Vice Versa has always been my favorite, actually I consider it to be the only good swap film to the date.

But, to confirm this position I developed when I was just a Kid, I saw again tonight, couldn't find the movie, so I decided to watch it divided in eleven parts on youtube (Kind of a desperate act huh) and I am SO pleased to say that I remain with the same idea: "Vice Versa is simply the best swap movie done to this date".

And really, who cares if the idea has been already made over and over again? Remember it's never what you tell, it's how you tell it, and in this case it is perfectly told. And damn is Savages and Reinholds acting brilliant, really, I think Reinhold is the only actor to deliver a believable portrayal of an eleven year old kid, except in one or two scenes where he over acts, but nothing of importance honestly, and Savage well he really is flawless in this film.

P.s: On the bottom of the Swap Film list I have "Like Father, Like Son", if there's anything worse than seeing Dudley Moore acting, is seeing him acting as a teenager... NOT believable at all, he sucks big time.

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