Switch (1991) – Movie Diary

The old switcheroo 

One of the things that I love doing when I’m alone and bored is to start reading movie summaries on Wikipedia. Sometimes, From one link, I can continue clicking until I read something else altogether. So, I was reading about ‘Interstellar’ and clicked on ‘Matt Damon’ which led to ‘Ocean’s Thirteen‘, and came across this name: Ellen Barkin. Curious to know who she was, I clicked on her profile and read that she was known for the 1991 movie, ‘Switch‘.

Promotional Poster (Source: Internet)

Aaah, it turned out that ‘Switch’ was a movie about the old switcheroo, body swapping. What I read was a very, very short summary with little info. So, I decided to look for the movie on Youtube. And guess, what? I found it! So, I watched it. 

The movie began with Steve, a womanizing advertising executive who is murdered by this three ex-girlfriends. Yes, THREE! What he assumed was a fun orgy in the jacuzzi turned out to be a payback for the way he treated women. 

When drowning Steve doesn’t do the trick, Margo (middle) shoots him (Source:Internet)

So, he is stuck between Heaven and Hell and requests from God to return to Earth to find the one female who liked him, in order to be in God’s good graces. The Devil however has another idea. Since he is recruiting, he makes Steve’s journey more difficult by deciding that, Steve should come back as a woman so he could not simply pretend to be a good guy to sway women into liking him.

This is when things start to get really interesting. Of course, since God agrees with the Devil, Steve came back as a beautiful blonde played by Ellen Barkin. Hysterical at first, Steve decides to call his colleague, Walter (Jimmy Smits). 

Steve is in the bathroom for his usual morning business 
for the first time as woman(Source: Internet)

Steve goes to see one of his murderer, Margo and spooks her into lending Steve a dress. Steve meets Walter at a bar and introduces himself as ‘Amanda’, derived from ‘A MAN’, haha, how convenient! (So now, I will address Steve as Amanda) Supposedly, Amanda is Steve’s half-sister to whom Steve confides about his miserable life and decides to take a sabbatical in the manner of French painter, Gauguin which was repeatedly mentioned in the first half of the movie. 

So, Amanda manages to get a big, fat raise from Steve’s boss on grounds that ‘Steve doesn’t give you a hard-on’, which I thought was extremely funny since as a viewer, I knew that was Steve talking to his own boss. Yet, that scene proved how some women could just get away with murder with just the way they look.

Amanda explains how Steve needs time off like Gauguin (Source: Internet)

So, Amanda began her search and tries to reach out to so many women who know Steve just to get a positive feedback to escape the sentence in Hell. It turns out that no women like him, not even a little. His secretary cries in joy when she knows that Steve is never coming back. Other women call him ‘a major asshole’, hahah, well, you can imagine you horrible he had been treating women. Including one model who slept with Steve to be on the cover of the magazine. 

*Guess what, this Connie model was played by the forever adorable Tea Leoni!

Amanda meets Connie, who graces the front 
cover of a magazine after sleeping with Steve (Source: Internet)

In the meantime, Amanda becomes the centre of attention at work and when she goes out. Steve’s boss try to hit on her. A colleague, Dan who just moves to her office tries his luck too. Even Walter, in a drunken state actually confesses how he found Amanda totally irresistible. 

Amanda even catches the eye of Sheila (Lorraine Braco), a potential client who she meets with Margo’s help. At first Amanda plays along, and then she realizes that she’s a homophobe. Yet, she tried her best until she and Sheila both got into a brawl at an all-lesbian party. Somehow Sheila must’ve been very impressed that she decided to hire Amanda’s company to manage her advertising needs. 

The Blonde vs The Brunette (Source: Internet)

I actually loved the scene during a business meeting when Amanda and Sheila clearly show their hostility (jealousy, perhaps?) towards each other. Sheila requested the ever-obnoxious Dan to manage her account. Dan asks Amanda to join his team and she purposely pressed her breasts against Dan’s face, asking him out to discuss the account. When she asks which place does Dan prefer, some place public or private? Dan answers, the former and Amanda spits out, ‘Good, then I can show you off!‘ and walks away, with the camera panning to Sheila to show her silent reaction.

Like all movies with similar body swapping plot, Amanda learns how horrible Steve has been treating women. In fact, she finally understands the whole deal about being a woman. How sometimes women are discriminated against, subjected to sexual harassment, etc. On a drunken night with Walter, they ended up making love. I thought it was really funny how she punches Walter in the face a couple of times and accuses him of being a rapist. 

Amanda’s new look (Source: Internet)

Steve’s body is found and Amanda is tried at court, since Margo plants the gun at Steve’s apartment. Since Amanda can’t prove she IS Steven Brooks, so she is sent to jail. During her sentence, she finds out that she is pregnant with Walter’s child.

Later, Walter informs her that Amanda can’t carry the baby to full term due to complications and suggests an abortion, of course, Amanda refuses having grown used to being pregnant. I cried during this scene!

Walter: He (the doctor) said that if you carry the baby to full term, it’s possible that you might … (trails off)

Amanda: Die? What about the baby, Walter?

Walter: That’s the thing. He said that if you decide not to have the baby, well, then… 

Amanda: Oh, no! I’m having the baby, Walter. 

Walter: Can we talk about this here?

Amanda: No, we can’t talk about this! Walt, you can’t imagine what it’s like to have a life inside you. It’s growing, Walter. It’s moving. It lives because I live and when I die, there’s a part of me that goes on. It’s truly amazing thing. It is an honest-to-God miracle. 

How do you feel about marrying your basketball partner, buddy? (Source: Internet)

A tear-jerker scene turns into something funny, when Walter asks Amanda to marry him. She actually snickers when saying her ‘I do’. Walter quits his job at the firm after being pressured by his boss. Amanda later dies after she delivers a beautiful baby girl. 

Finally, a female who likes Steve Brooks, his/her own daughter (Source: Internet)

The scene ends with Walter and their daughter visits Amanda’s grave. The tombstone reads ‘Amanda Brooks Stone – A great guy and a very special woman. May they rest in peace. 1955-1991’. And up there, Amanda is given a choice either to be a male or female angel to which she responds, ‘I really liked being a man, but being a woman has its advantages’. 

Okay, now, why I love this movie? Throughout the movie, I was wondering, when will Amanda ever turn into Steve again. And of course, how could he explain Amanda’s disappearance? Going to Tahiti like Gauguin as well? Hahaha! But I was proven wrong. Amanda stayed as Amanda until the end. It was quite different from all the old switcheroo movies I’ve watched before. 

I honestly think Ellen Barkin played Amanda Brooks so well, with her manly mannerism throughout the movie. Even when she wears a dress and gets all dolled-up, you still see a man struggling in high heels and tries so hard NOT to look at other women’s assets. And Jimmy Smits made his character, Walter Stone so, so, so adorable. You just can’t avoid liking him so much and wanting him to have a happy ending with Amanda, no matter how wrong that might’ve been. 

Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits were adorable together (Source: Internet)

Here’s where I watched Switch. Thank you, Ardi Tan for uploading the movie which moved me to tears. 

But if you’re unsure if you might like the movie, watch the trailer here

Here are among my other favourites!

1. The Hot Chick
Honestly, I still couldn’t get pass Rob Schneider and Rachel McAdams experience a body swap. Remember the scenes with Rob adjusting to being a girl? Hahaha! The bar scene with the bartender. The bathroom scene at the club. When he approached Jessica’s boyfriend. Hahaha!

The new face of ‘HOT’? (Source: Internet)

2. 17 Again
Aaaah, the first movie that I could actually stand Zac Efron, haha! Excuse me, High School Musical fans! I absolutely love this movie because when Mark (it’s actually Mike) is chasing his good old days, he realizes that the most important thing in life is his family all along. 

This movie makes me feel like a cougar! (Source: Internet)

3. Freaky Friday
With Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, this was a great movie for the whole family. Haha, who’d have thought the fortune cookies can turn your fortune upside down! 

One of Lilo’s best! (Source: Internet)

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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