We are rounding out the second round of the Movies of 1988 bracket game. After today’s match, we will have our final four. Today’s contest is between two popular comedies both of which had some cross-generational appeal. Roger Rabbit‘s blend of animation and live action appealed to both kids and adults. To sweeten the deal, the movie includes a heavy dose of nostalgia and some risqué gags that will go over the heads of most youngsters. Big created a fantasy that plays out differently depending on your age. Kids could fantasize what adult life and the freedom that comes with it might be like whereas adults could imagine what it might be like to recapture some of their childhood wonder.
One of these ostensibly family friendly comedies will advance to the final four and the other will be eliminated from the game.
As this game illustrates, 1988 was a banner year for comedy. In fact, renowned film critic Daffy Stardust wrote “1988 has to be considered one of the greatest years in the history of film comedies.” So there you have it. Case closed. In today’s match-up we have two more successful comedies both of which represented attempts at growth by their leading men. After breaking out as a massive movie star playing fast-talking hustlers on Saturday Night Live and in movies like 48 Hours and Trading Places, Eddie Murphy wanted to be a romantic leading man. Tom Hanks had already established himself in the romantic-comedy, Splash, but Big offered him the opportunity to show a little more range than most of the goofy parts he had played up to that point.
Yesterday, I posted a link to a promotion for the new body-switching comedy, The Change-Up. In the promo, stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds make fun of body-switching comedies and admit that it’s kind of a stupid premise. (Although according to Ry-Guy, it’s no more stupid than talking apes.)
The promo is hysterical. If the reviews are any indication, it’s a lot better than the movie they are promoting. But hearing the stars of a body-switching comedy openly say that it is a “f#cking stupid idea” gets you to thinking. Is it? A lot of movies have used it as a premise. How well has the idea held up?
He’s a two-time Oscar winner and one of the most well-liked and respected actors in Hollywood. Tom Hanks has long been compared favorably to the legendary Jimmy Stewart. He’s an actor audiences almost inherently relate to and cheer for. He started off as a goofball in drag and somehow managed to change course in his career to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor.