Two decades after first making its big screen appearance in 1983, Trading Places has proven to be a timeless comedy and can make even the most cynical person crack a smile. The film has all the aspects of a great film which include, award winning actors/actress, screen play, directing, and an interesting storyline. Trading Places is truly one of the greatest comedies ever produced and is sure to bring big laughs for first time viewers, but has received some mixed reviews over time. One such critic, Dennis Schwartz, states his opinion saying, “director John Landis indulgently directs this preposterous lighthearted one-joke comedy that channels the well-worn theme used by The Three Stooges and "The Prince and the Pauper" of hereditary vs. environment” (Schwartz). Dennis then goes on to say, “Though it has some comic moments, they soon give way to tedium as it loses its screwball comedy format. As a satire on capitalism or genetics, it has surprisingly little bite despite pretending to say something about the business world and the social classes. It should appeal mostly to those clinging to the simple-minded populist notion that they can skewer the elites in a general way, as it modestly scales its aspired low heights with slick but witless dialogue and fails to register any moral complexities.” Also, he gives a brief overview of the movie and cast as well as saying, “The popular film, crassly appealing to the crowd's basest instincts, insultingly tell us you are better off being rich than poor.” However, contrary to Dennis’s beliefs Trading Places is not your average comedy movie. It has a rich story and helps to bring new life to an old concept of heredity vs. environment. Dennis’s description of Trading Places is unfairly evaluated and gives no evidence for why he believes the movie is so preposterous and deserves a second look. Here is a brief overview of the film. The fabulously wealthy but morally bankrupt Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and...
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