“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”
– Bill Murray in SCROOGED
That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for SpoilerFreeReview’s 12 days of Christmas 2021 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and welcome to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2021!🎅🏽
When I chose to review this movie for this particular holiday section of this website, my idea was just to hit the caps lock key and gush for a long time with frequent uses of the exclamation point about how much I loved everything about it. However, I would have to spoil things for me to do that. And that’s not what we do here at SpoilerFreeReviews.
So instead, I want to speak to you as if you are a person who’s never seen this. This movie is 40 years old, and I understand that people get around to films whenever they get around to them. So, to some of you, I understand I will be doing you a very big favor by doing this.
There are just four things you need to understand about the comedic masterpiece from 1983 that is known to us as TRADING PLACES.
1. 1980s Dan Aykroyd is nothing to sneeze at.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say the Dan Aykroyd owned the 80s or anything like that. But when he was on point, he was absolutely one of the best comedic actors in the business. There were the BLUES BROTHERS, DRAGNET, the GHOSTBUSTERS movies, SPIES LIKE US (though I may be the only one who ever really liked that movie), and DRIVING MISS DAISY (his Oscar-nominated role) and this, a brilliant performance on par with anything I’ve just named. We’re now living in a generation that, aside from the GHOSTBUSTERS movies, have never really gone to appreciate how brilliant Aykroyd used to be.
2. This movie is in Eddie Murphy’s top 3 performances ever.
His performance in this movie is right up there with his portrayals of Reggie Hammond, Axel foley, Sherman Klump, and Prince Hakeem as far as the funniest things he’s ever done. And keep in mind he’s 22 f years old in this movie. He hasn’t even begun to impact Hollywood in the way we know he will.
3. Randolph and Mortimer Duke are some of the best villains of 1980 Cinema.
Here’s where the Christmas-ness of everything plays a major factor. The bet that they make with each other is rather sadistic and evil. It’s only that much more evil that they do it during the Christmas holiday. The backdrop of Christmas only serves to the projected hopelessness of Winthrop while he goes through the after-effects of the bet that the Duke Brothers put on him.
4. The third act of this movie is a lot more brilliant than you’ve ever remembered it to be.
To put it very simply, it’s the sequence on the train, the meeting in the garage, and then finally the absolutely spectacular climactic scene involving the orange juice trade on the commodities trading floor and its aftermath.
TRADING PLACES isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas film. It does, in fact, take place around the holidays, including a company Christmas party that features a drunk and disgruntled Santa Claus, and there’s a focus on themes of generosity and redemption.
TRADING PLACES currently is playing on STARZ & Amazon Video.