Category Archives: body swap rom coms
romantic comedies, or rom coms, where people are transformed into some-on else (starting from the year 2000)
Thirteen year-old Jenna Rink wants to be grown up. She wants to be cool and escape the 13 year-old problems she is facing with her peers at school. She gets her wish and wakes up as a 30 year-old woman (Garner). She can do all the grown up things she wants to because she has everything a young girl could dream of wanting – she’s thirty and flirty and thriving!
But she’s not a nice person and her old friend Matt can attest to this. She wants to go back and make things right. She wants friends, a relationship, and for Matt not to marry some-one else!
Suddenly 30 (known as “13 going on 30” in other countries) is one of a number of films about changing bodies, or changing ages – body swap movies. These include Freaky Friday, Big, The Change-Up, and 17 Again and are usually a lot of fun.
Garner is perfect for this role, she’s adorable and sexy. Judy Greer is terrific (she’s got to get a lead role soon surely!) in her usual support spot. This is a lovely rom com that is light and fluffy and easily watchable with tweens or teens.
Leslie Mann, Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds
Dave and Mitch are best friends. Dave is a career man, married with young children. Mitch is a would-be actor and lothario. On one fateful night they wish for each other’s lives while peeing in a fountain together. They wake up in each other’s bodies and have to lead each other’s lives. They are freaked out at first, but then settle into it, and get to know more intimate things about each other.
This is a common rom com theme – trading places. We’ve seen it before, but this film does quite a fresh job with it. There are a few cringe-worthy remarks about women, but generally there is quite a bit of light humour and laugh-out-loud moments. Worth a watch on Saturday night.
Leslie Mann, Zac Efron, Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry plays grown up Mike O’Donnell and Efron plays the teenage Mike. Poor old Mike, 16 years at the one company and still no promotion, wife kicks him out, kids ignore him…where to now? Maybe it shouldn’t have turned out like this. When he was 17 he made a decision that changed the course of his life. He wants to go back to that life, when it was better, and maybe he’d make different choices. So back he goes, he’s 17 again.
The transformation theme does pop up a few times in the rom com world, and this one gets a thumbs up from me. I’m a huge fan of Leslie Mann, squeaky voice and all, and there’s also a great supporting role from Thomas Lennon who plays Mike’s best friend Ned. But nothing beats Zac Efron as the young Mike, who really does make you wish you were 17 again!
Ashley is lucky, always has been. Jake is unlucky and always has been. Ashley is an up and coming successful PR executive with beautiful men falling into her lap. Jake is a want-to-be music producer, currently working in a bowling alley, trying to get a young band signed to a record label. He is accident prone and finds bad luck wherever he goes.
They briefly meet at a music industry event that Ashley organises – they kiss on the magical dance floor and exchange luck. Jack starts to live a kind of male fantasy. Everything crashes down for Ashley, she becomes accident prone and seems to be jinxed with every kind of bad luck. She needs to find her mystery man and kiss him again to get her luck back. When she gets her luck back, poor Jack will lose all he gained. Will she sacrifice her good fortune for his?
At one stage during the movie I got sick of the shenanigans and wanted them desperately to stop, as we had got the point. But apart from that, this film is light and fun. I’ve put it in the “body swap” list because although they don’t technically change bodies, they do swap personality traits – it still smacks of a swap movie.
The video shop guy told me that this DVD is “under-rated” and I tend to think he’s right. Lohan is perky and dynamic, and although the flick is fairly predictable, it still has enough verve to be enjoyable. Good for teens who like Lindsay Lohan.