Dating the Enemy (1996)
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Imagine my surprise at this films funny, clever and original way of examining the strangeness/complexity of relationships between men and women in this modern world. Yes, the plot device of how/why they switch bodies is a bit clumsy, but that can be forgiven, because once this film gets into full swing, it's a hilarious romp and the best by far "body switching" movie I've ever seen. It goes places where a Hollywood movie would never go. I think my fav scene by far is Brett as Tash having sex with his friend and finding out how BAD men can be in bed! Oh, and getting his period....!! As a woman audience member, you can't help saying, "Ah, HA!! See?!" What I also love about this movie, is that the changes that both characters go through are more convincing and realistic than in any other "body switching" movie I've seen. It is especially nice to see Tash come out of her shell after having lived Brett's life. This movie goes beyond the plot gimic in many of these ways. I wait impatiently for it to be released on VHS or DVD here in the US.
I can't go without commenting on the actors. This is the most charming and ironically NORMAL character I've ever seen Guy Pearce play, and I'd love to see him do more parts like this. Also, I instantly became a huge fan of Claudia Karvan. I selfishly wish she were in more projects that come stateside, because I'd love to see more of her. Hopefully she won't be cut out of the Star Wars movie again! :)
In short, in spite of some of the minor problems with this film, it is a wonderful film overall, and if you can overlook it's faults, you will fully enjoy it.
More than just an evening's entertainment, this film could save troubled marriages by more than just its romantic tones and ending. It can achieve it's goal by setting the realistic co-operation example that it does.
Little wonder the screenplay works as well as it does with Linda Seger as consultant.
At the core of its charm is the fact that the two leads had to work and watch each other throughout the rehearsal process, then successfully emulate each other during filming stimulating recognition in the audience, something strongly identified in all successful Australian films.
That's why in the public screenings I saw, the pencil in the hair always drew powerful laughter.
after the film you found yourself smiling warmly.
A must see about women and men.
The first twenty minutes, whilst the plot establishes itself, are a bit of a chore but thereafter the silliness takes over and I chortled away as predictably absurd scenes were unravelled.
Disappointing homophobic line about men and women being the natural (and implicitly, only) form of coupling for human beings, which seemed at odds with the rest of a fresh, healthy skip through sexual norms but alas every script writer has a bad day.
I grew up on that staple of british cinema the 'Carry On's and this is kind of doing a similar thing. Don't expect it to change your life, just entertain you for 90 minutes.
they could have gone 'over the top', prancing and mincing about, just looking for laughs, but no! they show that they are Observant Actors, perfecting their craft as they go.
the big sex jokes are the big sex jokes, and hooray for them: guy/claudia getting 'her' first period, clau/guy getting 'his' first bj, yeah, yeah, yeah, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. the real fun begins while watching them in every-day-type situations.
the scene of them sitting together on the couch is what i'm talking about here. their body language is subtly perfect- guy/her is completely to the inside, knees together, all hand gestures toward herself, sitting straight, while claudia/him is completely male-expansive as a 'male' in her/his actions.
the Movie is medium, to be sure, but the Acting of the two principals is worth the price of the rental, if not the ownership.
if you're not a 'touch of evil/citizen kane' type movie snob, and you'd like to see two young actors really doing great stuff, try this one out. guy and claudia are really superb in this one.
magic spell, it was just so hilarious!
Shortly after I'd seen this film I talked about it to a friend who told me about the film 'Dating The Enemy' so I decided that I should see this film. The film is like 'Freaky Friday' only it's not a mother and daughter switching bodies, it's about a young man and woman switching bodies. The film was both quite hilarious and
quite touching. It was hilarious because of the way the two people had to adapt to a life in each others bodies and it was touching because the way the couple of them finally resolved their disputes and fell in love. So this film is a great romantic comedy.
As a movie of this kind I try to see if the "switch" situation really is "believeable". One thing I can't believe is that Brett in Tash's body is amazingly handling this situation, he wears makeup as an expert, also no problems using skirts neither problems with high heels. I can really tell that the most convincing ever done role of this type was performed by Scott Bakula's Quantum Leap (What price Gloria?).
So it's just a movie for having a good time.
This writer/director now works for the government bureaucratic churn mill, making decisions based on base and formulaic aesthetic -- it's clear from watching this piece of uninspiring rubbish that arbitrary structure and plot are more important to her than the things which really make for compelling cinema.
The performances (thanks to Guy Pearce) are not completely awful -- although the script (taken directly to the slightly better but still average "Switch") is parochial in its sensibility with expositional dialog, uncinematic treatment of space and temporal reality and a trite sense of resolution.
Better still, has anybody outside the Australian film industry ever heard of this dreary number?