With The Change Up opening this weekend, a summer of raunchy R rated comedies comes to an end and another entry in the Body Switch genre is added. And judging by the trailer that has played in front of 95% of the movies I've seen this summer, they aren't even trying to market this well. I mean, there's a poop and a fart joke in the trailers, the movie hasn't even opened yet and already, we've seen two gross out jokes. None of the other R rated trailers that we've seen this year have had poop or fart jokes in the trailer, they were in the movie but not in the trailer.
That's why I'm not really excited to see The Change Up but I'm going to try and see it this weekend. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. What I'm hear to talk about is, the body switch genre.
The plots of a majority of these movies are the same, two people switch bodies until they become better people and at the end, they get their lives back. It's a typical formula that's been used in every body switch film but if it used to great comedic effect, it can make a good movie.
And here are 5 movies that are the best of this genre. Why only 5? Because the man wants to deprieve me of ten. Well, not really, it's only because I've only see about 6 or 7 good body switch movies because a majority of them can really suck. Here are my picks for the top 5 best body switch movies:
5. 17 AGAIN
The movie that proved that Zac Efron is more than just a pretty boy actor. A lot of the jokes were smartly written, which is key for a genre that uses the same story, Matthew Perry playing the older version of the main character is all right, but it's Zac Efron who steals the film and proving to people that he can do more than be that kid from 'High School Musical'.
4. 13 GOING ON 30
The reason why this comedy worked so well might have something to do with its' lead star, Jennifer Garner. Garner really did a great job playing the part of a 13 year old girl who has unexpectedly grown into a 30 year old woman overnight. It's also one of the best romantic comedies of the last decade, it's surprisingly well written, the characters are great, and the way the story goes is nicely done.
3. FREAKY FRIDAY
Like most body switch films, Freaky Friday is one that takes you by surprise. Long before Lindsay Lohan became notorious for breaking the law, she was a good actress with Mean Girls and this, easily her strongest role. Lohan & Jamie Lee Curtis each do a great job using each other's instincts and personalities and using it on themselves. The film is also very funny too and has some really good direction from director Mark Waters.
The best body switch comedy of all time. It's hard to believe how body switch comedies can usually be the jumping point for some of Hollywood's biggest stars like Zac Efron, Jennifer Garner, and Tom Hanks with this one. Big is a touching and very funny comedy that really shows off Hanks' abilites as a comedic actor, this was about five years before he won back-to-back oscars for his dramatic roles in Philadelphia & Forrest Gump.
Big works as both a really good comedy and a very touching movie. The end of the film is one of the rare times I've actually shed some tears in a film. Yeah, call me a pussy all you want but the end was very touching to me.
And finally, the best body switch movie I've ever seen, and it surprised me to find out that it actually was one, and that is:
I couldn't believe it the first time that Source Code was actually a body switch movie but I thought about it and it's techincally true. Jake Gyllenhaal is playing a soldier who keeps going into the body of a train passenger to find the criminal behind a train explosion.
Anyway, Source Code is still my personal choice for the best movie of 2011 so far and it's also the best body switch movie I've ever seen. It has a lot of really great ideas going for it and it's the only body switch movie on this list that's not a comedy. Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monagahan have some great chemistry on screen as do Gyllenhaal and Vera Farmiga & Jeffrey Wright when he's not in the other body.
In the last description, I talked about how some of Hollywood's biggest names got their starts in body switch films and I think that's where Duncan Jones is heading. With this and Moon, I think Jones is going to become one of our great directors and he proves it here in Source Code, the best body switch movie ever.