Swap Till You Drop: 5 Body Swap Comedies

The bargain bins of rental shops and supermarkets are the final resting place of the screen-based detritus spewed out by Hollywood’s worst.

It is highly likely that a disproportionate amount of these films will be so-called “body swap” comedies. Invariably the stuff of cinematic nightmares, the body swap comedy is often found lurking in lists of the worst films of all time. Ever.

Usually triggered by an irrelevant action such as peeing in a fountain, touching a statue, being struck by lightning or just simply by talking to someone, “hilarity” ensues when characters swap bodies with a family member, friend or random older person; an experience which will teach them a lesson they will never forget…yawn.

This week sees the release of The Change-Up, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman – a film which does no favours for the genre. So, in order to prove a point we’ve compiled a list of some of the most memorable (generally for the wrong reasons) body swap films of all time.

1. The Change-Up (2011)

Two men + a drunken discussion about how awesome each other’s lives are + a communal piss in the fountain = Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman in body swap hell. Possibly the lowest of the low in this, a competitive category.

This year’s take on the tired storyline brings nothing new to audiences except boobs, bums, toilet humour and copious amounts of swearing.

2. Freaky Friday (2003 – the one with Lindsay Lohan)

Shrieking pubescent Lohan overdoes the role of angsty teenage daughter like no one else could. And Jamie Lee Curtis does her best. This is ultimately a tragic attempt at a remake of the 1976 original.

3. The Hot Chick (2002)

Rob Schneider wrote it. Rob Schneider stars in it. Need we say more? After changing the oil of an annoying, popular, teen beauty (Rachel McAdams), Schneider and the “hot chick” inexplicably swap bodies and learn some valuable lessons etc etc.

4. Vice Versa (1988)

Not the worst film of the body swap genre but pretty average. A young boy swaps places with his dad putting him in such awkward and hilarious predicaments as whether or not to kiss his own mother…

5. Big (1988)

There is always one exception to every rule and in this case, Big is it. The remarkably fresh-faced Hanks plays a young boy so desperate to grow up that a wish made on a random arcade machine actually works and he is propelled headlong into adulthood. Just watching the trailer makes you want to revisit this childhood favourite. Stand out scenes include the sleepover (“I get to go on top”… of the bunk bed obviously) and the ejector seat limo.