Trading Places (1983)

For years I have meant to review the comedy classic Trading Places around Christmas time but never got around to it. There is much debate on whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie; however, I have never heard any discussions about Trading Places, which I would consider more of a holiday movie than most. 

Eddie Murphy is at his best in this film, where he truly lives out the rags to riches story. Unfortunately, Dan Aykroyd lives out his worse nightmare, going from the mansions of Philadelphia to the streets. The switch is funny because the Duke brothers place a wager on whether or not this switch is possible. 

Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) is smarter than he looks and is wise to the Duke’s act. Meanwhile, Winthrope (Aykroyd) is blindsided by everything, and his losses are funny, even though you got to feel bad for the guy. 

Trading Places features two former Saturday Night Live cast members as leads. Most people know Murphy was just about to break out as a superstar in 1983. Aykroyd was already building upon his career after the success of The Blue Brothers three years earlier. 

I love to watch this movie every holiday season because the majority of the story centers around Christmas and New Year’s Day. The central turning point of the story involves a produce report, set to be released on January 1st. This report could be worth millions of dollars. 

The only thing I could say about the whole Wall Street angle is that to this day, I still do not understand how these two guys with little money managed to bankrupt their millionaire bosses. I even took an economics class in high school and asked about this famous scene. To this day, I am still confused. 

Trading Places is one of the best comedies that came out of the 1980s. I’m not saying that because I was a huge Eddie Murphy fan growing up, I just think it was a hilarious story. No matter how many times Hollywood does a switch story, there will still only be on Trading Places. 8/10


One thought on “Trading Places (1983)

  1. I don’t think the plot is supposed to make sense (referring to your doubts about bankrupting the Dan Akroyd’s former bosses), but it’s still a fantastic movie! John Landis is a superb director.

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