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Films: T is for...

Trading Places

By our reckoning, there’s not a person alive today who dislikes this comedy, and we reckon that’s because it straddles the full spectrum of Hollywood comedy. There’s both your lowest common schtick – the gorilla suit, the cornball “message”, JLC providing “something for the dads” and, of course, the “language” – and genuine wit of the likes American Pie and co. long since dispensed with – Murphy’s first appearance (easy to forget how good he was), the Stadtler-Waldorf crosstalk of the two elderly wagermongers, the whole indictment of Reaganite society providing “something for the broadsheets” and, naturally, Denholm Elliott’s wry retainer. Simply put, no-one takes this much care over a mainstream comedy film any more. Few did even then, of course, but we can’t help but feel sad that the days when something this clever, charming and raucous could play to kids and adults alike in cinemas all across the country seem to be over.

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